Found January 20, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
Carlos Pena is returning to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Early Friday afternoon, the 33-year-old free agent, who played in 2011 for the Chicago Cubs, signed a one-year, 7.25-million deal to resume his role as the Rays first baseman.
Pena hit .225 for Chicago with 28 homers and 80 RBI last season, following his final year with Tampa Bay in 2010 when he batted .196 with 28 homers and 84 RBI. The Rays clearly wanted to ramp up their power quotient in the lineup, and Pena should do that along with recently acquired lefty slugger Luke Scott.
The liability with Pena, of course, is strikeouts. He fanned 161 times with the Cubs, following 158 in 2010, 163 in 2009 and 168 in 2008.
He also has struggled to hit for average, with .227 representing Pena's high in the past three seasons. That's quite a drop from the .306 that Casey Kotchman hit in his one season with the Rays last year.
But the Seminole native only hit 10 homers in a position that traditionally generates power in the lineup, and the Rays have been determined to pack more of a punch in 2012. With Pena and Scott in the batting order, that potential is now there.
Pena hit 144 homers for the Rays from 2007-10 and was an All-Star in 2009.
He brings two elements the Rays lose by not bringing back Johnny Damon and Kotchman. Like Damon, he's known for strong leadership and a positive influence in the clubhouse. And like Kotchman, he's one of the best defensive first basemen in the game.
The Cleveland Indians were reportedly interested in both Pena and Kotchman, and that could now be where Kotchman winds up.
More to come later today as the story develops.
BEST OF MAXIM
First baseman Carlos Pena is heading back to Tampa Bay.
Pena agreed to a one-year contract worth $7.25 million to join the Rays, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman reported on Friday.
The 33-year-old Pena played four seasons in Tampa Bay before heading to the Chicago Cubs last season. Signed to a one-year deal worth $10 million, Pena batted .225 with 28 homers and 80 RBIs with...
Carlos Pena is coming back to Tampa. He and the Rays have reportedly agreed to a one-year, $7.25 million deal. And while this may strike some fear in the hearts of Red Sox Nation, I think the reign of Carlos the Powerful is done.
While Pena is good with the glove, and can still hit a few home runs, his bat isn't nearly as mighty as it once was. Go take a look at his stats...
Carlos Pena is a Ray once again.
The Tampa Bay Rays spent most of the offseason under the radar. They signed Matt Moore to a long-term extension, added Fernando Rodney to their bullpen, and made a trade for Burke Badenhop. I know you are stimulated. Well, they finally got off the sidelines and into the game by adding first baseman Carlos Pena. Pena will help immediately by filling the first base hole...
Oh how I love writing pieces on the Tribe and their seemingly never-ending search for that middle of the order bat. Wait, I should rephrase it, because it has changed so many times.
When the season ended, it was “the search for the right-handed, middle of the order, run-producing, power bat.” Then as a month or two went by and the options of right-handed bats on the free agent...
Carlos Pena will return to the Tampa Bay Rays after the first baseman agreed to a one-year deal after spending last season with the Chicago Cubs.
Carlos Pena is headed back to the Rays on a one-year/$7.25 million deal, Jon Heyman is reporting today. That's less than the $10 million he made with the Cubs last year. The Pirates never even feigned interest in Pena this winter (at least not as near as I could tell), and so it's probably not worth wondering what they would've had to pay him to come to Pittsburgh. Between...
Inside is a look at how the Rays look on paper after the announced signing of free agent first baseman and former Ray Carlos Pena.
The Rays have agreed to a deal with Carlos Pena that will bring the powerful first baseman back to Tampa Bay, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets. Yahoo's Tim Brown reported earlier this morning that the Rays were "in pretty deep" with the Scott Boras client.