James LoneyThe Rays have have agreed to a 3-year, $21 million contract with James Loney according to Ken Rosenthal. The deal is pending a physical.

This move comes as a surprise, both for the length of the deal and the size. But it also shows you how much the Rays value a good defensive first baseman. It also is an indication that the Rays just did not like the available first basemen.

If the Rays do trade David Price, Loney will be the second-highest-paid player on the team next season. Evan Longoria would be first at $7.5 million in 2014. Ben Zobrist will also make $7.0 million.

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10 Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Awesome!!

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  2. Dave L says:

    This is great news. The infield and 2/3 of the outfield is locked down for 2 years. Thats a big change in Rays land.

    Loney was hands down better for the Rays than any of the plan B's. His lower price tag confirmed my suspicions that his lack of power hurt him amongst just enough of MLB to send him back here. Too many teams think 1st base = Home runs still in 2013

    Half of Seattles roster is First baseman and DH's with power and nothing else

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    • Tom says:

      I think dejesus, myers, and jennings (arb-eligible) are all under team control until 2015. I suppose it is a quibble whether a player who is arb-eligible is under team control. This allows AF to focus on younger prospects now if they trade Price
      .

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  3. Alex says:

    I'm ok with this. Loney stuck to his career numbers for the most part last year and played great defense as usual. I don't see this being a Jeff Kepinger type of deal for us like it was for the White Sox. As long as he hits between .250 and .300. 15 hr, keeps the strike outs down and plays great defense I think this will work out well for us

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  4. Jeff says:

    Great news! The way he fit in with the team was awesome! Numbers only tell half of the story! He had a lot of clutch hits early in the season, to keep them close! Plus saved a lot of errant throws! Give him a few more breaks to keep him fresh in September !

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  5. Dave L says:

    This move really strengthens AF hand with regard to Price.

    Now he can legitimately go to Seattle et al and say - look guys we really shored up our weaknesses in a way we weren't sure we could and ownership is thinking we have the surrounding cast for Price to make a legitimate WS run in 2014 and we will need Price to do that, so forget about these peanuts you were offering us, talk to you in 12 months......

    That negotiating arguement has the added benefit of being factually true and could squeeze a little more young talent out of some desperate GM salivating over the thought of Price in his 2014 rotation.

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    • Ken says:

      Excellent point. The Rays can now focus on smaller puzzle pieces (RH bat for bench/DH, RH reliever) and allow the market to define King David's worth. 2 years of Price @ 30 mil total blows away the crazy salaries given to pitchers like Kazmir, Feldman, Hughes etc.
      A 2014 healthy Price might just get us to the promised land. AF knows this, and knows teams that feel the same about his abilities now have to "man up" if they want him.

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  6. Rob says:

    Great signing.

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  7. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Love it. A fairly good price for a great defender and ample hitter- and a much better choice than any of the other possible options in the same talent pool.

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