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Mets Interested in James Loney?

Padres AAA veteran depth could become future prospect trade fodder.

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are in a pinch, with their starting first baseman Lucas Duda on the disabled list for an indefinite amount of time after suffering a stress fracture in his back. Only a half-game out of first place in the NL East, the Mets certainly are pushing for another World Series appearance, so the loss of a power bat is a huge concern. Their current roster options of Eric Campbell and Ty Kelly both profile as career replacement players, so they're certainly wishing they had Daniel Murphy around right now. Regardless, the Mets are in a bind and scanning the landscape for potential options.

Since signing to a minor league deal with the Padres on April 8th, MLB veteran first baseman James Loney has had a solid start to his 2016 campaign. In the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, his .340/.372/.425 line stands out among the Mets' potential options. Inflated PCL stats aside, it's understood around the league that he's a capable contact hitter with a reliable glove.

While Wil Myers heads a weak depth chart for the Padres, Loney could still be viewed as a tradeable player should the return make long-term sense. As long as Myers' wrists (and forearms) keep him on the field, he's the starter at the position with Brett Wallace a capable backup. Current roster options behind them are Yangervis Solarte and Adam Rosales, and the minors have a host of players who could fill in short-term should the need arise in Mike Olt, Jason Hagerty, and Alex Dickerson.

Loney currently fills the role of veteran injury depth right now, but in a year of "building", it might be prudent to make a move for future potential over current depth, especially considering the Padres' current position in the standings. The Mets are in a position of need, so there's an opportunity here. It's been reported that there's some level of interest. I'd like to see this savvy veteran signing turned into a potential impact piece down the road.