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Loney officially a Ray

Posted Dec 6, 2012 by Roger Mooney

Updated Dec 6, 2012 at 04:28 PM

The Rays officially announced they signed free agent first baseman James Loney to a one-year, $2 million contract plus another $1 million in incentives.

“James is a guy that’s been on our radar for years,” executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “We feel like there is real significant upside from surface line last year. He’s a tremendous defender and a guy that we feel fits in really well to our club.”

Loney, 28, was part of the blockbuster 11-player deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox last August. He hit .249 (108-for-434) with six home runs and 41 RBI in 144 games between the two teams.

Joe Torre, Loney’s former manager in Los Angeles, said Loney is an excellent defender but his offense is a “mystery.”

“He’s a hitter first, power second, and we’re fine with that.” Friedman said. “We think if he stays with that approach that it will be a very additive offensive piece with the profile and the contact and different things that he does, and you layer on the defense on top of it and we feel like he’s going to help us win games.”

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