Rangers release James Loney, send 2 others to minors

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers have released veteran first baseman James Loney from his minor league contract.

A week before the season opener, the Rangers also Monday optioned knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa to Triple-A Round Rock and reassigned outfielder Jared Hoying to minor league camp.

Loney, a non-roster invitee, hit .174 with one homer in 16 spring training games. He was a backup for the New York Mets last season, and has a .284 career batting average in 1,443 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston, Tampa Bay and the Mets.

Gamboa is a 32-year-old right-hander who made his major league debut last season with seven appearances for Tampa Bay.

Hoying is a speedy outfielder who played in 38 games for the Rangers last season, his first action in the big leagues.