The Tampa Bay Rays signed first baseman James Loney to a one-year deal worth $2 million, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Loney spent the 2012 season playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox.
The veteran infielder is coming off a season in which he posted career-lows in several categories -- he hit .249/.293/.336 with 12 home runs and 65 RBI in 2012. He hit just .230 after joining the Red Sox in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to Los Angeles.
Loney may be expected to replace Carlos Pena, who started at first base for the Rays in 2012. Pena, who is a free agent, hit .197/.330/.354 with 19 home runs and 61 RBI. Loney does not have the same kind of power, but his career batting average (.282) is considerably higher than Pena's (.234).
The Rays and the rest of Major League Baseball are in Nashville this week for the 2012 Winter Meetings.