Rays first baseman James Loney has been informed that he won’t make the team’s Opening Day roster, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter links). He has been informed he’ll either be traded or released.
Loney is owed $8MM this year in the final season of the three-year pact he signed to return to Tampa Bay before the 2014 campaign. He was displaced by the team’s addition of several players, including fellow left-handed hitters Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson, over the winter.
It remains to be seen whether the Rays can find a taker for any of that salary, though the failure to do so thus far suggests it may not be a viable option.
Though he’s a high-average hitter, Loney doesn’t draw a ton of walks and doesn’t have much pop. His production at the plate has tailed off in each successive year he’s been with the Rays, and he hit at a below-average clip (.280/.322/.357) in an injury-limited 2015 season. Loney has traditionally rated well with the glove, though metrics have seen him as very slightly below average in the last two seasons.