Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays appear close to signing 1B James Loney
Posted Dec 3, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Dec 3, 2012 at 09:59 AM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Rays appear close to signing free agent first baseman James Loney and filling one of the big holes in the lineup for the 2013 season.
They team has yet to confirm the report, which was first reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. The news was confirmed this morning by ESPN baseball analyst Jim Bowden and Ken Rosenthal of Fox.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Loney will receive a one-year, $2 million deal.
Loney, who turns 29 in May, was part of the nine-player trade last August between the Dodgers and the Red Sox.
The left-handed hitting Loney batted .249 in 144 games in 2012 split between the two clubs with a .293 on-base percentage and a .336 slugging percentage. Loney hit .230 with two home runs and eight RBI with in 30 games with the Red Sox during the latter part of the season.
Loney is a career .282 hitter with a .339 on base percentage and .419 slugging percentage. He hit a career-high 15 home runs for the Dodgers in 2007 and twice drove in 90 runs during a season while with Los Angeles.
A career .294/.351/.441 hitter against right-handers, Loney could serve as the Rays fulltime first baseman this season or he could be part of a platoon if the Rays added a right-handed hitting designated hitter who can also play first base.
Loney has a career fielding percentage of .994. He played errorless ball in 28 games last season after joining the Red Sox.