According to several news outlets, the Tampa Bay Rays are very close to signing first basemen James Loney to a 1 year deal worth close to $3 million. Loney was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Boston Red Sox in the mid summer blockbuster deal as an afterthought, and the Red Sox chose to let him walk. The Rays, who are in need of a first basemen, decided to take a risk, seeing as it’s only a couple million bucks.
The Rays are making a “Rays” like move here. Signing a guy that’s had success at the major league level to a 1 year deal without a ton of financial risk. The Rays have no choice but to add a guy like this, seeing as the AL East continues to be one of the best (if not THE best) division in baseball. Loney could easily turn back the clock and be the left handed hitter we all thought he would be after a few good years for the Dodgers.
I like this move for the franchise not solely because of his bat, but because he is an outstanding defensive player at first base. If they Rays can pitch and play defense, they’ll be in a ton of ball games.
We’ll see what happens and we’ll continue to update you on this move as well as the rest of the 2012 Winter Meetings, taking place in Nashville. This is likely not the only move the Rays will make, so stay tuned.