Texas Rangers

Rangers, Loney agree to minor-league deal

James Loney spent three season with Tampa Bay before playing for the New York Mets in 2016.
James Loney spent three season with Tampa Bay before playing for the New York Mets in 2016. AP

The Texas Rangers signed veteran first baseman James Loney to a minor-league contract late Friday that gives him an invitation to spring training and a chance to compete for time at first base.

A source confirmed that Loney would make only $1 million if he reaches the major leagues, a cost that doesn’t take the Rangers out of the running for Mike Napoli or other free-agent first baseman who might be worth of a major-league deal.

Rangers ace Yu Darvish said he still feels that he owes the Rangers something for taking a chance on him coming out of Japan. (Video by Stefan Stevenson).

A second source said that Napoli doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to sign a contract. His camp and the Rangers have exchange proposals but aren’t yet close to a deal.

Loney, a Houston native, spent last season with the New York Mets and batted .265 with nine home runs in 100 games. His career-high in home runs is only 15, so he isn’t the power bat the Rangers are seeking to plug into first base.

Loney will compete with Ryan Rua, Jurickson Profar, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton for at-bats at first base. Hamilton, who signed a minor-league deal Tuesday, said that he has been working at first base and expects to play there much of spring training.

Right-hander Tyson Ross, who officially joined the Rangers on Thursday, takes questions at the club's awards dinner (Video by Stefan Stevenson).

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre says the Rangers are good enough to compete for division despite strides made by Mariners and Astros. He also discusses Pudge Rodriguez's Hall of Fame election (Video by Stefan Stevenson).

Outfielder Carlos Gomez said he wanted to return to Rangers in 2017 because it feels like family (Video by Stefan Stevenson).

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