With the failure of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford’s contract—not to mention whatever it was Josh Beckett thought he was doing—Loney will now be the face of all that failure.
While his 2012 wasn’t going great, a change of pace and the knowledge that he will be a free agent after this season will get the young star playing well to finish the season.
Once it’s over though, he should not re-sign with Boston.
The Boston Media
One of the toughest parts about playing for a team like the Boston Red Sox is the intense scrutiny from the fans and the media on everything that the players do on and off the field. As we saw over the last three seasons in Boston, it gets complicated at Fenway Park.
While every man hungers for chicken and beer from time to time, Loney must pass on possibly re-signing with the Red Sox because that isn’t his style. Loney has never been great with the media, and it will be much worse in Boston.
Loney will have a chance to see what it’s like in the town after such a huge trade, and he will choose for himself if the pressure put on him from all different sides is worth the glory he could have if they turn the organization around.
It won’t be worth it.
The Allure of Free Agency
As much as becoming a star for the storied Boston Red Sox would intrigue any baseball player, this is James Loney’s biggest chance to get a payday in his career. At 28 years old, this may be his last major contract and it needs to be huge.
That likely won’t come from Boston, so it’s time to test the waters and try to get the biggest paycheck he can.
Despite having a mediocre season, the turnover in the Dodger’s organization and uncertainty around 2012 will do that to a player. The hope for Loney and his next team will be that the change of scenery and stability will result in a career rejuvenation.
Loney’s got the skill to do it.
The Weight of This Trade
From now on in Boston, James Loney will always be the player traded for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.
Despite the fact that the real key in the trade was star prospect Ivan de Jesus going to the Red Sox, the Boston fans will always associate Loney with the bad deals that he cleared from the books.
No matter how much salary room for the team he helped create, his name will always be associated with the failure of those players and those contracts.
That’s something no player wants to deal with.
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