Newsday's new all-encompassing baseball blog on the Yankees, Mets, MLB and more from around the sport.
BloggersErik Boland Marc Carig Cody Derespina Nick Klopsis Mark La Monica David Lennon Casey Musarra Anthony Rieber
Report: Rays sign James Loney
The Rays just replaced Carlos Pena's production at first base for a fraction of the cost.
Tampa Bay signed James Loney to a one-year deal worth $2 million, according to Jon Heyman. The contract includes up to a possible $1 million in incentives.
Loney had a .630 OPS playing for the Dodgers and Red Sox in 2012, hitting six home runs with a .249 average. Last season's Rays first baseman, Carlos Pena, had a .684 OPS and, though he had 19 home runs, Pena hit just .197. He also made $7.25 million.
Tampa has multiple holes to fill this offseason: in the outfield, at designated hitter and the middle infield. Acquiring a catcher might also be on the team's wish list.
Though Loney had a miserable 2012, he has been a serviceable, if unspectacular, player for most of his career. From his debut in 2006 to 2011, he only once posted an average below .281. He hit double-digit home runs from 2007-2011 and drove in at least 88 runs from 2008-2010.
The Rays are essentially gambling on a bounce-back year from Loney at a low cost.
But they have a lot more work to do.