Rays Close To Signing James Loney

The Rays appear close to signing free agent first baseman James Loney, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).  It would be a one-year deal for Loney, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

Loney, a client of CAA Sports, came to the Red Sox as a part of August's blockbuster trade with the Dodgers.  On the year, 28-year-old hit .249/.293/.336 with six homers in 465 plate appearances for the two clubs.  Boston was said to be considering a return for Loney, but the odds were pegged at 50-50 in late October.

The left-handed hitter would presumably come to Tampa Bay as a replacement for Carlos Pena at first base.  Pena struggled last season, hitting .197/.330/.354 with 19 homers in 600 plate appearances.

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