Rays Close to Signing 1B James Loney

James Loney was the cast-off from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the blockbuster deal that brought Adrian Gonzalez and others over from the Boston Red Sox.  He went to Boston for the remainder of the 2012 season where he struggled.  In fact, Loney always seems to struggle.  But that doesn't mean he isn't drawing interest from teams like the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports says the Rays are close to signing a deal with the 28-year old veteran.

It's not clear if Loney will be the primary guy in Tampa if the Rays do sign him, but the team has yet to re-sign Carlos Pena.  Pena hit just .197 last season for the Rays, so Loney would likely be an improvement overall.

In his career, Loney has hit .282/.339/.419.  He has never been a big power threat, which is what you expect from a first baseman, but he has been solid for the Dodgers over the years, and he could be a fit, as Brown said, in Tampa Bay.  However, Loney hit just .230/.264/.310 in 30 games for the Red Sox last season.

Loney managed to stay relatively healthy in 2012.  His biggest injury concern came toward the start of spring training last year after it was revealed that he had suffered a head injury from an auto accident he was involved in back in December of 2011.  There did not seem to be any lingering affects from the accident, and Loney played in 144 games in 2012.

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