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Hot Stove: James Loney leaves Red Sox for Rays

The James Loney [1] era in Boston proved brief. The 28-year-old first baseman, whom the Red Sox [2] acquired from the Dodgers as part of the August blockbuster deal between the two teams, reportedly agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal. Loney hit .230/.264/.310/.574 in 30 games with the Sox, and .249/.293/.336/.630 overall in 144 games between the Dodgers and Sox.

Still, Loney is a premium defensive first baseman (something on which the Rays place a premium) whose career offensive numbers (.282/.339/.419/.758) were suppressed somewhat by the fact that he played in a ballpark (Dodgers Stadium) that represents one of the least favorable hitting environments in the majors. The Rays will hope that Loney, once considered a top first-base prospect, might return at least to career norms, though with the hope that he does have some upside given that, in his first two years in the majors in 2006-07, the 2002 first-rounder hit .321/.372/.543/.915.