The Pittsburgh Pirates were hunting for a first baseman after deciding to part ways with Justin Morneau.
Yeah it was a great trade to begin with when they acquired Morneau, but the offensive production he put up in Minnesota didn’t follow him to Pittsburgh. So it makes sense that they let him go. James Loney on the other hand, had himself a bounce back season with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Loney picked up interest from a handful of teams across the league and honestly, the man deserved all the attention. After being traded to the Boston Red Sox from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Loney fell in a bit of a slump.
This past season with the Tampa Bay Rays on the other hand, was one of the best seasons he has had in his eight year career. Loney played in almost every game this year for the Rays and seen 549 at bats, his fourth career high in that category.
Loney connected on 13 long balls while plating 75 RBI’s with a batting line of .299/.348/.430 across the line. It was a great decision by the Rays to pick up Loney, especially since they were looking at Juan Uribe as a possible fall back plan.
Now that the Rays have re-signed Loney, the Pittsburgh Pirates are saying that they were in on James Loney before he re-signed with Tampa. But he did say that the contract that it would have taken to sign him would have been beyond their comfort level.
Huntington: “We were in on James Loney.” Said contract would have gone beyond #Pirates‘ comfort level.
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 14, 2013
Well now that Loney is back with the Rays for another three years and Morneau is now in Colorado. Who will the Pirates pick up to play first base for them in 2014 and beyond?