The Tampa Bay Rays have signed first baseman James Loney to a three-year, $21 million contract. It is the largest free agent contract awarded by the Rays under the current ownership led by Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg.
In 2013, his first season with the Rays, Loney led the club with a .299 batting average and had 13 home runs, 75 RBI and 33 doubles. The 29-year-old was one of three finalists for the American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award at first base. His 1,277.2 innings were the most ever by a Rays first baseman. Loney’s .299 batting average ranked 13th in the AL and second among AL first basemen. It was his highest average since 2007 when he hit .331.
Loney played in 158 games in 2013 and has averaged 157 games per season over the last six years. His 940 total games during that span are tied for sixth most among all major league players.
An eight-year veteran, Loney reached the postseason for the fourth time in 2013. His career .354 postseason batting average leads all active players and ranks eighth in major league postseason history.