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.