Rays sign James Loney to 3-year deal

Al Messerschmidt

The Rays will keep 2013 breakout star James Loney around for the next few years.

The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed first baseman James Loney with a three-year, $21 million contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. He will also recieve a $5 million signing bonus in 2021, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The 29-year-old Loney was a first-round draft pick for the Dodgers in 2002 and he was highly-regarded as a prospect, ranking in Baseball America's top 100 four times before he landed in the majors permanently in 2008. However, prior to 2013, he had not translated that potential into the type of production at the plate that is expected from first basemen. Prior to 2013, Loney hit .282/.339/.419 in 3484 plate appearances.

After leaving the Dodgers in 2012 as a part of the $250 million trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez from the Red Sox to the Dodgers, Loney slumped with Boston, finishing with a .249/.293/.336 batting line between the two teams. He found his stroke with the Rays last season, however. Signed for one year at $2 million, Loney hit .299/.348/.430 with 13 home runs and 75 RBIs in Tampa Bay, despite playing home games in a tough environment for hitters at Tropicana Field.

The deal is pending a physical according to Rosenthal.

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