Carlos Pena is returning to the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to multiple reports early Friday afternoon, the 33-year-old free agent who played in 2011 for the Chicago Cubs has 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 Penas high in the past three seasons. Thats 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...