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Tampa Bay Rays sign James Loney

After rumors of nearing a deal surfaced last night, the two sides have officially come to an agreement on a one-year deal.

Jeff Gross

The Tampa Bay Rays have come to an agreement on a deal with free-agent first baseman James Loney, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

Rumors surfaced last night that the two sides were close to a deal, but now they have reportedly agreed to terms. The deal is reportedly for one year and $2 million, with performance incentives that could push Loney's salary to $3 million total, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.

The 28-year-old Loney spent the first 6¾ seasons of his big-league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .284/.341/.423 as their first baseman and some-time right fielder. The lefty hitter moved to Boston in late August as part of the Adrian Gonzalez/Josh Beckett/Carl Crawford mega-deal but struggled at Fenwway, batting just .230/.264/.310 with a pair of home runs in 30 games.

While Loney is definitely not in the upper echelon of first baseman, he has solid defensive numbers and helps fill a huge hole at first base for the Rays. His acquisition could be just the beginning of first base upgrades for the Rays, who are reportedly in talks with the Nationals to acquire Mike Morse and Danny Espinosa.

As always, the deal is still pending a physical from Loney.