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Rays tell James Loney he won’t be on opening-day roster

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For James Loney, it’s time to move on.

Loney, the Rays’ first baseman for the past three seasons, has been told he will not be on the team’s opening-day roster, leaving Tampa Bay on the hook for his $8-million salary. He was told Wednesday he will be released or traded.

Loney hit .291 in his time with the Rays, and he was the star of the international victory over Cuba. But it figured to be difficult for Loney after the team acquired Steve Pearce and Logan Morrison to share first and Corey Dickerson to be the designated hitter in the off-season.

“This team is great,” Loney said. “I wish them the best. The guys are great. Loved my time here, loved the organization. At the end of the day, you want to play in the big leagues.”

The Rays also released catcher Rene Rivera and pitcher David Carpenter.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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