Rays sign first baseman James Loney to 3 year deal

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

St. Petersburg, FL, United States (4E Sports) – First baseman James Loney will return to the Tampa Bay Rays, agreeing to a three-year, $21 million deal, according to league sources.

The 29-year-old Loney revived his career with the Rays last season, hitting .299 with 13 home runs and 75 RBIs in 158 games.

Loney had the highest rate of line drives in the majors (30 percent) and his .351 batting average on the road was the best in MLB.

He spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers before he was traded to the Boston Red Sox as part of the blockbuster that sent Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to Los Angeles in August 2012.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers were also eyeing Loney this offseason.

A first-round pick by the Dodgers in 2002, Loney signed a one-year deal with the Rays prior to last season. He is a lifetime .285 hitter and has a .761 career OPS over eight big league seasons.

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