The Rays still need a first baseman, and team president Matt Silverman said this morning they are "hopeful" of re-signing free agent James Loney, who is also of considerable interest to the Pirates.

"He's someone that we're interested in, and he knows that,'' Silverman said this morning on WDAE-620 AM radio. "The good thing for us is he liked it here. We liked him, he fit in well. And we're a known quantity. When he's thinking about other things out there, he won't know what the other clubhouses are like, he won't know what it's like living in that city. And so that gives us a little bit of an advantage. Our wallet isn't as big as other teams', so that's one disadvantage for us.

"But I'm hopeful that he can be here. And if not, we're going to find another first baseman that fits us. It's been a revolving door for us for a number of years, and it's always nice to be able to solidify a positon, but if we can't we'll continue to search and figure out who our first baseman is going to be.''

If they can afford him, Loney indeed may be the Rays top target. He had a solid 2013 overall for the Rays, hitting .299 with 13 homers, 75 RBIs and a .778 OPS, and playing his usual dazzling defense, named a finalist for the Gold Glove award.

After making $6.375-million during a rough 2012 season with the Dodgers and Red Sox, Loney took a one-year, $2-million deal (with another $1-million in incentives) to reestablish his value with the Rays, and did just that.

While it's not clear what Loney is looking for, free agent Justin Morneau on Tuesday got a two-year deal for about $13-million from the Rockies. And Loney, 29, is younger and had a better season.