Loney, 32, played an even 100 games last year for the Mets, who acquired him in May from the Padres after losing Lucas Duda for a lengthy stretch. (San Diego had added Loney over the winter on a minor-league deal.) In his 366 MLB plate appearances in 2016, Loney slashed .265/.307/.397 and hit nine home runs.
Clearly, that wasn’t quite as much production as most teams would like to see out of the first base position. It was the second straight year in which Loney had checked in with below-average overall offensive results. He was much better over the 2013-14 campaigns, however, when he provided the Rays with 1,249 plate appearances of .294/.342/.404 batting.
There are some other limitations, too. Loney has long carried rather drastic platoon splits, though perhaps that makes him a relatively appealing option as a bench bat to face righties. And though he has long been considered a quality defender at first, Loney hasn’t rated quite as well with the glove in recent years — though he still draws average metrics.
For Texas, Loney could compete with prospect Joey Gallo and perhaps also veteran Josh Hamilton for a left-handed-hitting role in the team’s first base/DH mix. Both of those players could conceivably also spend time in the outfield, though neither would likely be a preferable option there and the Rangers aren’t much in need of southpaw-swinging corner outfielders anyway.