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Rays announce one-year, $2 million deal with James Loney

Dec 6, 2012, 2:51 PM EDT

James Loney AP

Making official what was first reported earlier this week, the Rays announced their one-year deal with first baseman James Loney.

He’ll get $2 million in guaranteed money coming off a career-worst season in which Loney hit just .249 with six homers and a .630 OPS in 144 games for the Dodgers and Red Sox.

Loney has always lacked the power and overall production usually found in first basemen and in fact since debuting in 2006 his .758 OPS is the second worst among all MLB first basemen ahead of only Casey Kotchman.

Of course, Kotchman was the Rays’ starting first baseman in 2011 and clearly they’re willing to sacrifice power at the position in the name of improving the infield defense. Loney is a legitimately outstanding defender and certainly for $2 million it isn’t much of a commitment, but even a return to his pre-2012 levels at age 29 won’t help the lineup much.

  1. Francisco (FC) - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Sally, time to replace those candles. Try leprechaun blood next time.

    • indaburg - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Mock me, but you’ll see. Loney will have a career year like Casey Kotchman and Jeff Keppinger did with the Rays.

      • lew24 - Dec 6, 2012 at 6:15 PM

        I agree with idaburg.

        I’m a Dodger fan and I know he will hit 20 plus home runs and next year someone will sign him for 4 years 30 million.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      No, leprechaun blood is for cursing.

  2. tuberippin - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    It’s good that you mentioned Kotchman, because this signing really does appear to be Casey Kotchman v2. I’m still surprised they haven’t taken aim at Michael Morse for a year before he hits free agency, though. That’s a big power bat to have in a lineup that is in desperate need of quality hitters to put around Longoria.

  3. yahmule - Dec 6, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    James Loney is the active leader in career games started by a guy who should be considered nothing more than a backup.

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