James Loney Happy to Play for Rays Next Season
Third baseman James Loney said he's happy opening another chapter of his career with Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays, the former Boston Red Sox slugger said Friday.
Loney, who signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Rays, said he welcomes the opportunity to join a top caliber team under the tutelage of Maddon.
"I always liked the way they played," Loney told MLB.com Friday "They're always in the hunt, winning a lot of games every year, almost winning the World Series one year. So I like that aspect of it, and I also get the chance to play the majority of the time."
Looney is a career .282 hitter with 73 homers and 459 RBIs but he has been slowing down over the past few years. He pocketed $6.375 million with Boston Red Sox last season, where he hit just .249 with six homers and 41 RBIs.
Nevertheless, the Rays believe Loney could fill in the gaping hole in the third baseman position after Carlos Pena struggled last season.
"We feel like there's a real significant upside from his surface line last year," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told ESPN. "He's a tremendous defender and a guy who we feel like fits in really well with our club."
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