Heyman | James Loney agrees to deal with Braves

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Texas Rangers infielder James Loney #18 poses for a photo during the Texas Rangers photo day on Feb. 22, 2017 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise Ariz. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire)
Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire

With All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman going down, the Atlanta Braves have already been forced to look elsewhere for help along the right field line. As a result, a source close to the situation has informed FanRag Sports that the Braves have signed free agent first baseman James Loney.

It was announced earlier in the day on Thursday that Freeman would miss approximately the next 10 weeks after taking an errant pitch off the left wrist earlier in the week.

The 33-year-old Loney most recently spent the 2016 campaign as a member of the New York Mets before failing to see any action in a big league game thus far into the 2017 regular season. In what would become his lone go-round as a member of the Mets, he appeared in 100 regular season games en route to batting .265 with nine home runs and 34 RBI alongside a .307 on-base percentage.

Prior to making his way to the “Big Apple” in relief of oft-injured Mets first baseman Lucas Duda, Loney spent time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays along the way. For his big league career, the veteran corner infielder has made 1,443 regular season appearances and currently owns a .284 batting average with 108 home runs and 669 RBI to coincide with his .336 on-base percentage.

It is also worth noting that Loney previously inked a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers this past offseason before ultimately parting ways with the American League West franchise.

For the time being, the Braves called up Rio Ruiz, a third baseman who could play first base in a pinch until Loney is ready. Jace Peterson is starting at first base on Thursday.

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