Late-season run spurs payday for Loney

Sometimes, it sure helps to finish strong.

James Loney has signed a 2012 contract for $6.375 million plus incentives, according to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com. That’s an increase of $1.5 million (31 percent) from his 2011 salary of $4.875 million, compared with the $1.7 million (18 percent) increase that Andre Ethier received earlier today.

(In September, I predicted Loney would end up with $6.5 million.)

One shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Ethier is still getting nearly $5 million more than Loney will for 2012, but it’s still a pretty impressive haul for Loney, who had a .612 OPS as late as August 6 last season.  But he OPSed 1.082 in his final 47 games, a late-season run that was worth millions, given the probability that he would have been non-tendered without having done so.

And so, the spotlight now turns to Clayton Kershaw’s 2012 contract …

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