According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Rays have brought back Carlos Pena on a 1-year, $7.25 million deal.

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73 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    YAYYYYYYYYYY

    ...I love Pena, don't judge me.

    Friedman will trade a SP still, you would think but a very solid off season for the Rays.

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  2. Mike M says:

    I'm wondering if they just trade a SP to reload the farm system at this point.

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  3. Jeff says:

    Awesome. Kotchman must have been asking 4+ million. Special year ahead and this will motivate the fan base.

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  4. Drew says:

    This is awesome. I'm still going to get pissed watching him strike out and hit into the shift, but I don't think we could have done much better.

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  5. BullDog says:

    Great pick-up! His clubhouse presence will be huge for a team like the Rays. His defense is still as good as ever. He gets on base plenty and moves very well for his position. And, oh-by-the-way, he can still put the fear of God in opposing pitchers when he hits the ball.

    Only downside is that on a team like the Rays with so much speed he needs to make contact and put the ball in play…

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  6. BullDog says:

    Forgot to mention that he is a great guy in and around the community that the fans love to root for!

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  7. Anthony says:

    I like this signing. Pena has a great glove and has great power. Too many strikeouts, but the slugger is where the K's should be coming from (BJ). Too bad for Kotch and Johnny though. I really enjoyed watching both of them play. I can't believe we couldn't find a way to keep the guy who led the team in Batting Average last year though.

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    • dcoggins3 says:

      why would you keep a 1B who only hit 10HR and drove in only 48?? there is nowhere in the lineup for those kind of numbers....with luke scott (20) and pena (25) we've added some power...have to have power from 1b and dh...Kotchman was a nice story, but he was offensively challenged.....

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      • Anthony says:

        Kotch's power totals weren't that high because he didn't play at the beginning of the season. He hardly struck out and his power came around in the second half. He was very good offensively, but not the power numbers you need from 1B and DH.

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        • steve says:

          Kotchman was the definition of a good not great offensive player last year falling right on the .800 ops mark while only slugging .422. That is just too low for the 1b position. Don't forget that he disappeared down the stretch and ALDS. Pena was much better offensively and is exactly what the Rays needed. He slugged over .500 and his OBP was only .21 lower than Kotch. Don't forget that Kotch has only had 2 good years out of 7 MLB seasons while Pena has only had 1 subpar year (2010) and even that year wasn't that bad and he was battling a hand injury. Bottom line is the Rays needed power and they upgraded in that category, remember BA isn't everthing

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          • steve says:

            typo, Pena only slugged .462 last year but he is an all star against RH pitching slugging over .500

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  8. Joe says:

    Pena also can be that clubhouse leader that Damon hinted we lost by not bringing him back.

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  9. angrybuddha says:

    I love this guy. Great to have his smile back under a Rays cap...

    ... but $7M is steep for this team, no? He was a disappointment with the Cubs last year at $10M. I would have thought his going rate was closer to $5M. ... But I'm not doing any analysis, that's just a gut feel.

    Has anyone looked at projected WAR and assigned a $$ value to that for him?

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    • steve says:

      Pena has averaged 2.2 WAR for his career and his salary is equal to a 1.5 WAR player, very good deal for the Rays. This probably is due to him liking it here and seeing the potential of this years team.

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  10. Don says:

    I'm on my 2nd beer wondering how I'm going to sit thru 600 strikeouts this summer from 3 players that cost a total of $20mil.
    I don't ever want to hear about the Rays not having any money, the only other team (by reports) that had an interest in Pena was Cleveland and they weren't going to pay him 1/2 that much, so what did we do double the ante to $7mil.. for what?
    AF you the man... another Boras assault, hey Andrew, do you feel violated?

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    • Joe says:

      Good try but the actual reports were the Indians offered more but Pena loves Tampa.

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    • Tom says:

      It was also reported the Yankees offer him more. He is taking a 2.75M paycut from 2011.

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      • Don says:

        You two geniuses have been listening to Boras haven't you?
        What would the Yankees do with Pena, Cleveland has NO money to pay anybody $7MIL

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        • J W says:

          When proven wrong....deny, deny, deny.

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          • steve says:

            Is Don serious? Multiple reports have CLE offering more money. Pena took less to come here because he has house in Orlando and winning is important to him.

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    • JAD says:

      Maybe you should lay off the beer and try increasing foods such cocoa to increase your brain power. Cocoa has been proven to have a positive effect on your brain. Alcohol affects brain chemistry by altering levels of neurotransmitters that control thought processes slowing down the processing of information. You seem to lack intelligence.

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      • Raysfan137 says:

        Like this post, but you have to apply slug theory. You're trying to explain to a slug that his shiny trail behind him is not beautiful. He doesn't have the capacity to do anything but admire his trail.

        This signing just sold tickets and beef are this lineup a lot more daunting than last season. It's not just about 'Los's numbers in a vacuum. It's about how Longo, Scott, 'Los, Zob, and Joyce will look in some bunched together order once Des and BJ get on base.

        More fans like it than not. And those who don't can sit next to me on the band wagon about mid May when it really starts to gel.

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        • Mike says:

          This. Pena's numbers are good, not great, or he would have had a lot more interest and more than a 1-year deal. But what this lineup needed was a threat, a bat to keep opposing pitchers honest. Pena could be hitting .063, but when he steps in there, the pitcher knows any pitch could travel 450 feet.

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    • pete says:

      Don please do everyone a favor and go pick up a shotgun , load it , insert barrel in your mouth and pull the trigger with your toe.

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      • Amanda says:

        Pete ... why don't you not tell people to kill themselves if they have a different opinion than yours? I'm not standing up for Don's opinions, but I'm standing up for his right to have them.

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        • Rob says:

          Amanda - Pete, while in bad taste, didn't abridge Don's "rights". He's saying what a lot of people think about the irrational and relentless negativity. If it's that bad, stop following the Rays. Yes, Pete, myself and others will appreciate it, but he should save himself the stress. Unless, of course, it's an act, in which case he's trolling and deserves whatever anyone says about him.

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          • Sarah says:

            But what you guys aren't understanding is that there's only one way to discourage him, and that's ignoring him. Just don't read his posts, or if you do don't comment on them.

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        • pete says:

          Amanda , I'm sorry. It was a poor attempt at humor. Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions.

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      • Kyle says:

        This made me laugh..I'm sorry guys, but it's funny..Thumbs up

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  11. J 2.0 says:

    ****Headlines from the future****
    Luke Scott gets black eye after throwing plantain chips at Carlos Pena.

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    • Andy says:

      LOL!!! Love this comment!! Hope it doesn't come to pass, but who knows, given Scott's latent bigotry (giving him benefit of doubt!)

      Glad to see Pena back, b/c he does make lineup better!! Tho he does strikeout TOO MUCH, he also gets quite a lot of WALKS which helps his OBP & run generation in that lineup :D And, he is well liked in clubhouse & offers gr8 veteran presence!! LOOK OUT YUCKS & BOSUX!!!

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  12. Sledge says:

    I believe the Yankees just traded away their most days DH from second half of the season last year. Certainly was a place for him.

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  13. Sarah says:

    1. Nicest smile in baseball. Honestly if we're going to pay for "clubhouse leadership" I'll take him over Damon.
    2. His strike outs will drive me nuts
    3. Could someone teach him to once in a while hit the other way? I don't want to mess up his swing, but if he could maybe once a week or so punch one down the third base line....
    4. If nothing else, keeping him off the Yankees is great.

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  14. Gus says:

    Congrats to the ownership for spending money on a good guy and giving them a chance to win it all this year.

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    • Joe says:

      Might not even be done improving the team. Andrew will eventually trade Niemann or Davis and maybe it will be for a C instead of Molina and the battle of 2 guys made of glass, Chirinos who has a nice bat but a terrible release and Lobaton who couldn't even stay healthy long enough to prove anything.

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      • Sarah says:

        Although at this point I can see trading one of those pitchers for prospects rather than players ready to start today -- and since neither has hugely high trade value, I think that's great. We can get a decent prospect rather than a marginal major leaguer.

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      • Gus says:

        Under no circumstances should the Rays trade Wade Davis. This is madness. Never have enough arms and he is still developing.

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        • J 2.0 says:

          I agree I am looking for big things from Davis. Last year was his sophmore slump and I think he'll break out this year.

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  15. Leighroy says:

    Just watched moneyball last night, and found it interesting Billy Beane kept agonizing over trying to get the guy with the better OBP to play more than Carlos Pena over and over and over in the movie. Friedman instead went for the 7.25mil option of Pena over that guy.

    Moneyball we are not?!? Go Rays!!

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  16. CC says:

    Good to have him back. Got power back at first base with a gold glove. Not to shabby.

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  17. RedBull says:

    I'm not sure what to think yet, but I do think we're closer to being great than we were before. I still think we need to add an upgrade at C and SS, but we'll see what happens. The Rays still have 8 horses for 5 spots, and no long term answer at first base. My guess is we trade Niemann for a 1B prospect that is on the cusp of breaking out. Not sure who that might be yet, but that's my best educated guess.

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  18. Don says:

    Who's going to play 1st base when a left hander is pitching, say Sabathia??..not our $7mil upgrade...heh?? Pete you can answer this one...Dah

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    • pete says:

      Pena will probably get days off against some of the tougher left handers but will start 135 games if healthy. Maddon for good reason likes to have the same target at 1st for his infielders to throw to and for that reason Pena will get the bulk of playing time. Don i can't answer your question because rosters are not completed and i'm not sure the Rays are done this offseason.

      Also for the record , I don't even have a dislike for you , your posts make me laugh and you remind me of the character played by Randy Quaid in Major League 2.

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  19. Raysfan137 says:

    Thanks for saying what I was about to say, Amanda. Don's clearly got hyper pessimism syndrome, but we shouldn't suggest suicide. That hits close to home for some. Besides, if he does that he won't be aroud to jump on the 'Los and AF bandwagons when he sees the results this year

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  20. Don says:

    Tell you what 137, the Day... Pena hits .270 and 30 Hrs., 100 rbis, I don't think that would be too much to ask for from a $7mil 1st baseman,do you?.. I'll go down on the field and apologize to him for calling him a bad .200 hitting player....till then I'll call em as I see em (and my left hand pitching answer?)
    also,Pete is the type that would kill himself before me, because I'm very confident in what I say, he is insecure in his positions, thus the name calling type replys

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    • J 2.0 says:

      To me Don is a lonely person who posts controvesial ideas to garner a response.

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    • pete says:

      No offense bud , but i back my statements up with facts. Batting Average has become a completely useless stat. What does Carlos Pena do?... He gets on base and hits home runs. He may hit .220 but has an OBP of .350 and an above .800 OPS.

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      • Cork Gaines says:

        Are there better stats than batting average? Yes. But it is not "useless." I'm all for promoting better statistics, but I'm also for proper perspective. A hit is in fact better than a walk (walks only move base runners one base, hits typically move base runners more than one base). I'm not saying batting average is better than OBP. I'm just saying we can't rely on one stat to evaluate a player. If I had a choice between a guy that hit .220 with a .350 OBP and a guy they hits .300 with a .340 OBP, I'll prolly pick the latter. That being said, I like having Pena for a lot of reasons other than his solid OBP.

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        • pete says:

          Absolutely Cork , You can't judge on just one stat , be it OPS , Batting Average , OBP ect. I'm just not sure everyone understands wOBA , wRC , OPS+ and such , so for people who don't , I try to make my points using more understood metrics.

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          • Cork Gaines says:

            That's completely cool. And I'm sorry if it sounded like I was jumping in you. Quite the contrary. I know you know your stuff. Was just clarifying for others.

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          • pete says:

            I didn't think that at all Cork. I enjoy your work and your site.

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  21. Don says:

    Ever notice when people can't respond to a question or a comment, the easiest way out, is name calling or respond with well "lets just ignore him" type answer,
    NOt one person on this site can answer the question of WHO will be playing 1st baseman if a left hander is pitching...
    would it be our $7 mil signee that can't hit left hand pitching?
    Just who exactly??

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    • Rayzilla says:

      Your mom...

      Sorry, it was a childish response yet richly rewarding. Don - you still seem to be married to batting average. OBP should not be overlooked, I also say that Pena should do better than last year now that he is back in the AL. After all, we went to a World Series with him so it can't be that hopeless. Also, if every 1B that could not hit lefties (or vice versa for some) was scrapped, there would be like six starting first basemen in the league!

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    • magray says:

      The answer, barring another move, will most likely be Russ Canzler.

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  22. RedBull says:

    Don, chances are that Pena will be the 1st baseman at all times. I'm not a big fan of it, but it will probably happen. So, there's your answer. You can complain about him being a terrible hitter for average because he is. But this is the same team that currently has a shortstop duo that makes Pena look like a batting champ, with no prospective moves that we'll be upgrading the position. There is good news though...our defense and pitching is arguably the best in the game, and we should score more runs than last year. But it won't matter to you, Don...you'll probably still hate on every move the Rays make.

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  23. Don says:

    Well, let me give you another "move" the Rays didn't make, we desperately need a hitting Short stop..
    The REDSOX just gave away Scutero (.299) for a pitcher with a 2-6 record....guess they weren't interested in one of our 18 starters?
    Maddon even sat Pena against lefties, now what?, just go ahead and lose a hitting spot, say 4th, cleanup what?

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    • pete says:

      What are you trying to say Don? Scutaro was a straight salary dump , and the Red Sox would never trade Scutaro in division to one their two biggest rivals. Now the Red Sox don't even have a Shortstop. Our platoon of Shortstops may not be able to hit but they were by FAR the group with the most runs saved in all of MLB in 2011. You do have a legit concern about Pena hitting left handed pitching but it's a good thing Pena completely destroys Right handed pithing and left handers only make up 30% of the league.

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  24. RedBull says:

    So, apparently today's rumor is that the Rays will now try to move Upton for a shortstop. They say we're looking to go after Espinosa from the Nats. Not sure if he'd be a great shortstop, but he can swing it. However, if we really want to make a trade for a shortstop, I'd like to see us be the ones to make a play for Hanley. Upton and Davis seems reasonable for Hanley and a low level prospect. Otherwise, we should just hold onto Upton and see where we're at when the All-Star break gets here.

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    • Drew says:

      Sorry to be the debbie downer, but Hanley will never be on the Rays. He's set to make $46mil over the next 3 years and there's a minimal chance he restructures if traded.

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    • Beth says:

      I also saw that reported on MLB trade rumors, but there doesn't seem to be any basis for that claim other than pure speculation on the part of the writer. If the Rays were to trade Upton for more production at short, who exactly would they use in the outfield? Yes, Jennings could move into center, and that leaves us with either Fuld or Guyer in left field. So how have we really improved? We went from having a weak hitting short stop to a weak hitting left fielder.

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  25. RedBull says:

    Well, think of this...if the Rays trade Upton and Davis, they're saving approximately $10 million this year. And the Rays could also trade Niemann, which would save approximately another $10-13 mill over the next 3 years. If they trade Niemann for a first base prospect that's ready by next year, then Pena is off the books as well. I know its unlikely, but its definitely possible

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  26. RedBull says:

    In Guyer's defense, he hasn't been given a real opportunity to do anything in the majors. So, for all we know, his minor league numbers could translate into the majors if given the opportunity. He could also be a 20+ HR guy that steals 20+ bases. We won't know until he's given the chance.

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    • Beth says:

      Yeah, of course. I'm not trying to say that Guyer couldn't possibly have a role to play. But I would just wonder about trading Upton away without a somewhat proven replacement waiting in the wings. Upton may not have ever been the allstar we all hoped for, but replacing him offensively and defensively isn't so easy.

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  27. RedBull says:

    I understand that it might be difficult to replace, and I'm not even saying that its likely. I do think the Rays will be creative with a trade to try to make a splash for a more consistent bat though. I would be a fan of bringing in Hank Conger, Maicer Izturis, and a prospect from the Angels by trading them Davis and Lobaton. That would absolutely fill our needs and definitely make us a major power for the next 3 years. I can see Upton being traded before the deadline, no matter what. I think they're gonna wait to see if they end up absolutely needing something, and then pull the trigger.

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  28. Alex says:

    What's with everyone's fascination over Hank Conger? Everyone, even minor league scrubs, hit in the PCL and its not like his AAA numebers are that good especially considering the league he played in.

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  29. Dave says:

    As far as Jennings in center and Guyer in LF... They have Fuld and Luke Scott to play back up roles. BUT they might be better off letting Guyer play in the minor a few more months and trading Upton in the season.

    To contradict that, I don't understand how this team built around development in the minors always seems so hesitant to bring kids up and let them play. Guyer need to be brought up this year at some point and when he is, they need to play him everyday

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    • pete says:

      The reason Guyer is not up full time is because he lacks the ability to recognize the strike zone. While he can hit , his minor league BB% is pretty bad. Also it looked like a pretty exposed problem in his short cup of coffee on the Rays last year. I'm in the belief that he still needs some time in AAA.

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    • Sarah says:

      Scott himself has conceded that he won't be ready to make throws from the outfield until several months into the season. So he's not a viable backup there until the all-star break.

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  30. J 2.0 says:

    Ok so I guess everyone just took the day off. Well the Rays are expressing interest in Jeff Keppinger, which I think is awesome. Nice to have him on your bench.

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