James Loney’s comeback gets him three years, $21 million from Rays

And sometimes they remake themselves, and earn plenty of greenbacks in the process.

The quirky one, James Loney, was all but given up on by the Dodgers and Red Sox last season. In his free agent year, he had to settle for a $2-million deal with the Tampa Rays -- a $4.375-million pay cut from his last contract. He was the first baseman without power, whose batting average had plummeted to .249.

But Loney turned things around with the Rays and on Friday was rewarded: The Rays signed him to a three-year, $21-million contract, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

That’s what you might call a very nice raise. Though it can easily be argued he earned it. Loney, 29, hit .294 with Tampa last season, with 13 homers, 75 RBI, 33 doubles and a .348 on-base percentage, while continuing to play stellar defense.


That, however, is the minimum kind of production the Dodgers had hoped to receive from Loney.

The Dodgers sent Loney to the Red Sox as part of last season’s major trade with Boston that netted them first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.