Loney in sight at first base
The Rays were working on a deal early this morning to sign free-agent 1B James Loney.
Loney, 28, went from the Dodgers to the Red Sox last season as part of the massive trade that send Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to L.A. He hit .249 with six homers and 41 RBIs between the two teams, with a career-low .630 on-base plus slugging percentage.
Over the previous four seasons in Los Angeles, he averaged .281 with 12 homers and 83 RBIs with a .341 on-base percentage and .752 OPS. He is considered a solid defensive player.
The talks wth the 6-foot-3, 220-pound lefthanded hitter were first reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports and confirmed by the Times. ESPN"s Jim Bowden tweeted it will be a one-year deal.
Loney was a 2002 first-round pick of the Dodgers, finishing sixth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. He made $6.375-million last season.
Also, add the Nationals to the list of teams the Rays reportedly are talking to regarding their surplus of starting pitching, with Bowden saying they are discussing OF Michael Morse and INF Danny Espinosa.