Source: Padres sign Loney to Minors deal

Source: Padres sign Loney to Minors deal

The Padres have agreed to a Minor League contract with veteran first baseman James Loney, a source told on Thursday. MLB Network's Jon Heyman initially reported of the deal, which the Padres have not confirmed.

Loney was available after the Rays released him before Opening Day. The 31-year-old played in 12 games for Tampa Bay this spring, going 9-for-34 (.265) with three doubles.

Wil Myers, a right-handed batter, has started all three of the Padres' games this season at first base. But if the left-handed Loney is added to the big league roster, Myers could spend more time back at his natural position in the outfield, which could push left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. into a backup role.

Loney, a 10-year-veteran, is a .285/.338/.411 career hitter in stints with the Dodgers, Red Sox and Rays. He posted a .680 OPS and hit only four home runs in 104 games for Tampa Bay last season.

It's unknown where Loney would begin with the organization, but he'll most likely head to Triple-A El Paso. Given Loney's experience, it could be a matter of time until he joins the big league club. But the Padres already have a left-handed-hitting backup first baseman in Brett Wallace.

Loney, a resident of Poway, Calif., already makes his home in the San Diego area. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2002 when Logan White -- currently the Padres director of player personnel -- was the scouting director for Los Angeles.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. reporter AJ Cassavell contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.