MLB Signings: Rays re-sign James Loney

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Another potential first base target for the Brewers came off the board today.

Early this week the Brewers said they weren't interested in former Rays first baseman James Loney, who was believed to be seeking a three-year deal. Then Corey Hart and Logan Morrison came off the board, and Doug Melvin met with Loney's agent anyway. Now all of that is moot because Loney is going back to Tampa.

Loney did end up getting his three-year deal, although the money is a bit less than had been expected. He'll make $21 million over the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons with the Rays, where he hit .299/.348/.430 with 13 home runs in 2013. Loney is a career .285/.340/.421 hitter over 1084 MLB games, and is 29 years old.

With Loney off the market, it seems increasingly likely that any upgrade at first base for the Brewers will come via trade. The Mets still seem like the most likely partner with Ike Davis or Lucas Duda to deal, but reports continue to say they're asking for Tyler Thornburg in return.

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