Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 1/20/12
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 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, hes known for strong leadership and a positive influence in the clubhouse. And like Kotchman, hes 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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Former NFL LB Armstrong, wife reportedly killed by 16-year-old son

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Is it time to start taking West Ham seriously?

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker