Movement at the winter meetings is off to an early start Monday, as the Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year, $2 million deal with first baseman James Loney, per the Tampa Bay Times. The deal includes performance incentives that could add up to another $1 million in salary.
Primarily thought of as a defense-first first baseman because of his fleeting power stroke, Loney has at least shown the ability to hit for average. The lefty is a career .282/.339/.419 hitter in seven big-league seasons, all but the last month of which were spent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Rays must hope that this one-year deal pays off much better than the one they laid out for their first baseman last season. Tampa signed Carlos Pena to a one-year, $7.25 million deal in January, only to watch the lefty slugger struggle his way through a career-worst season, hitting .197/.330/.354 with 19 home runs in 160 games.
Loney's deal is still pending a physical.