Rays release James Loney hours before season opener

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays have released James Loney, the team's regular first baseman the past three years.

The club announced the move Sunday, hours before starting the season against the Toronto Blue Jays. He had been told last week that he would not be on the opening day roster. He has a guaranteed $8 million salary.

Loney batted .280 with four homers and 32 RBIs in 104 games in 2015. In three seasons with Tampa Bay, he hit .291 with 26 homers and 176 RBIs in 414 games.

The 31-year-old, who's also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox, became expendable after the Rays acquired Logan Morrison and Steve Pearce this winter. Morrison was the opening day first baseman.

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