James Loney[UPDATE] Jeff Passan says he is hearing that Loney is looking for a 3-year contract that will pay $9-10 million per season. So yeah, the Rays are not going to come close to that.

[EARLIER] The Rays are hoping to bring back James Loney to fill first base. But at least one other team has him on their wishlist which will likely make Loney too expensive for the Rays.

According to Jayson Stark, clubs that have spoken with the Pirates “believe James Loney [is] emerging as their top choice at [first base].”

Meanwhile, Rays president Matt Silverman told 620 WDAE (via TampaBay.com) that the team is still interested in re-signing Loney and “hopeful” that it will happen. However, Silverman also made it clear that they will not be able to match the offers from other teams and hope Loney will take less to stay in St. Pete.

“…we’re a known quantity. When he’s thinking about other things out there, he won’t know what the other clubhouses are like, he won’t know what it’s like living in that city. And so that gives us a little bit of an advantage. Our wallet isn’t as big as other teams’, so that’s one disadvantage for us…But I’m hopeful that he can be here.”

It has gotten to the point where the Rays are successful enough and the clubhouse chemistry has a strong enough reputation that some players will take less to sign or re-sign with the Rays. But there are limits to discounts for both the players and the players’ union.

If other teams are offering a player $7 million per year, that player may take $6 million per year from the Rays. But that same player is not going to take $3 million per year, no matter how awesome Joe Maddon is (and he is pretty awesome).

Also possibly complicating matters with Loney is that he recently switched agents and is now represented by the same agency (The Legacy Agency) that represents Carl Crawford. They may not be Scott Boras, but they do like to get top dollar for their clients.

So if the Pirates are serious about Loney and other teams (Rockies?) get in on the bidding, things are going to get out of hand fast. That means we have probably seen the last of Loney in a Rays uniform and it is time to start looking at back-up plans.



  1. OriginalTom says:

    It is being reported that the Rox signed Morneau.

  2. Alex says:

    JM only got 2 years 13 million. NO WAY anyone pays this much for Loney. Good luck to you but I see him signing for around the same money 2 years and 10-15 million.

  3. edward williams says:

    i listened to the interview with matt silverman today, and again it seems that the rays are comfortable being a 90 win team, which is fine , but i thought the idea was to win a world series, he said that they can't do much more, huh, how about spending some more money and bring a championship here, really the rays aren' t that far away, they keep using the excuse that they don't have the resources the other teams do, but than i read and hear about a 25 million dollar tv deal for all teams, i use to believe that they didn't have the money , now i am beginning to think that they just don't want to spend it, anyway it's up to them on how they want to spend thier money, just getting tired of hearing about the 90 wins, and how great our front office is , yes they are a good front office , but until you win a championship can you really be called great. well of course i will still be one of the suckers who still go to the games because he loves baseball, went when they really sucked, will continue going, thanks for letting me vent, go rays

  4. Geoff Peterson says:

    The Rays wasted their window last year when the Sox were awful and again this year when the Yankees were awful. Now they've both reloaded and it will be tougher to compete with them and many other improving teams.

    • Alex says:

      How exactly have the Yankees and Red Sox reloaded? The Yankees signed a 30 year old speedy outfielder to a terribly long deal (sound familiar to the Red Sox a few years back?) and they are probably losing Cano. Their pitching was terrible last year and their team is older than dirt. Even if they add Beltran they still aren't a top team.

      Boston lost Ellsbury, Napoli, Stephen Drew, Salty. They only added Pierzenski. They'll still be a good team, but they haven't gotten better. Well unless Ortiz roids up this offseason for another run

  5. Dave L says:

    Bidding against the Pirates isnt like bidding against the Dodgers so we have somewhat of a shot. I'm with Alex I dont think he gets what he's asking. With our projected increased revenue in 2014 due to the TV contract I could see a 2 year $14M per maybe passing muster.

    We always bow out early in bidding wars whether we like it or not. Thats just part of the Rays formula.

  6. Craig says:

    Alot of organizations wish they could win 90 games 3 - 4 years in a row although I do agree that we have to take the next step and to help get us a championship. I personally loved the Hannigan trade and if we trade Price would love to see us get back a power hitting first baseman as part of the package- what your thoughts.

    • Drew says:

      I don't think they would get a first baseman out of the deal, simply because it is the easiest position to fill on the diamond. They have also had past success getting dumpster dive 1B's to pan out well. Although they have Escobar, and Lee and Beckham coming up soon, I think a young middle infielder or a true center fielder would do them much more good, and I think that's what they will be looking for.

  7. edward williams says:

    90 wins is nice ,compared to what we use to have, but we need to stop settling for that, i am beginning to like the hannigan trade the more i read about it, i just wish they would keep lobaton so he can learn from hannigan, and get rid of molina, nothing personal against him ,i just see the passed balls , the sluggish running to first , etc. anyway i do agree with craig though we do need a power hitting first baseman, than again, i would love to see loney back, i keep forgetting that we have a power hitter in wil myers, and longo. Going to be interesting winter meetings.

  8. papa says:

    Edward i agree with you 100% and alot of fans do. It is great what they have done and I love it but they need to find a way to get to the next level and win a championship. We have had one of the best pitching staffs top to bottom the past few years, let by Shields and Price, not having Shields last year hurt. Not having Shields and Price this year. Well we will see wont we!! I bet we don't win 80 games next year unless Moore and Archer take there place and I don't see that happening.

  9. mep645 says:

    I also agree with Edward. Setteling for mediocrity of 90 games rather than surging forward and setting a goal for being the absoulute winningest team is a much better attitude. Doing just OK does not fill the stadium, get better TV ratings or sell more merchandise.

    Every game counts. In April 2013 Rays lost two games with bad calls, the Zoby supposidly running ahead of Longo and the game where a Ray at home plate go in but was ruled out. Those two bad calls would have gotten us into the psot season without the playoffs for the Wild Card.

    The 2014 schedule is much better for the Rays in September but also does not include a long stretch (July 2013) of bottom feeder teams for Rays to get the W/L numbers up.


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