Originally posted on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 12/6/12

The Rays announced the official signing of first baseman free agent James Loney on Thursday. The deal is for one year, valued at $2 million with the potential of an additional $1 million based on his performance.  Loney was with the Los Angeles Dodgers before being traded to the Boston Red Sox as part of the July blockbuster between the two teams last season. He is a career .282 hitter but only recorded an average of .249 during 2012. Former Dodgers manager Joe Torre told the following to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times about Loney: “The only thing that always puzzled me is why can’t this guy be a better player. It certainly wasn’t from the lack of wanting to be and working at it – sometimes he got in his own way. Defensively he’s a plus and offensively he’s a mystery.” Pending any further movement from the Rays on this final day of the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings, Tampa Bay’s infield already looks like a more solid group on paper the last season: Evan Longoria at third, Yunel Escobar at shortstop, Ben Zobrist/Ryan Roberts at second, and James Loney covering first. Last year’s first baseman Carlos Peña hit .197 with 19 home runs and 61 RBIs. The post Rays make James Loney signing official appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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