A DH Option Off The Board: Pena Signs With Tampa


Via MLBTR, the Rays have signed Carlos Pena to a one-year contract worth just $7.25M. I would have loved it if the Yankees had brought him in to DH at that price, but I’m guessing he wanted more playing time (both at-bats and in the field) and took a bit of a hometown discount (so to speak) to go back to Tampa. That’s life. The Rays, meanwhile, now have a sneaky good offense. Life in he AL East is never easy.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. UncleArgyle says:

    They should have signed Scott Hatteberg instead. Why? Because he gets on base.

  2. greg c89 says:

    Over $7 million for a platoon DH? Can’t say I agree with that.

    • Mike HC says:

      He is going to be a full time player for the Rays though. I guess splitting time at DH and first.

      • Mike HC says:

        On second thought, Maddon probably will sit him against lefties a whole bunch. Either way, he still does have slightly more value to the Rays than the Yanks, in my opinion.

    • thenamestsam says:

      People say platoon like both sides are equal. Like 3/4 of pitchers are righties. If you’re willing to pay Andruw 4M to play every day against lefties and generally sit against righties, 7.25 is small change for Pena to play every game against righties.

  3. Mike HC says:

    That is too bad, but I have to agree with the Yanks that Pena is not worth around 3 times as much, or more, than the 2-3 million dollar DH types out there.

  4. FIPster Doofus says:

    “The Rays, meanwhile, now have a sneaky good offense.”

    Pena’s a good pickup, but there won’t be much difference in production between what he’ll give them in 2012 and Kotchman’s .351 wOBA in 2011. All the projection systems have Pena in the .350 neighborhood for the upcoming season.

  5. ADam says:

    any news on Chavy?

  6. Tampa Yankee says:

    Rays are throwing a lot of $ around for them. Between FA, arb raises and options, their payroll will be a lot higher than usual.

  7. William says:

    Wouldn’t surprise me if they win the division. Best rotation in AL East.

  8. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    I hope David Price enjoys his WAY under-market $4.3M he agreed too. I’m sure Pena is way more deserving of $7M than he is.
    The Rays did David a solid by keeping him in the minors to delay his free agency and he pays them back by agreeing to their under market rate? Baffling

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Not sure I follow, what recourse does Price have? Was this his first time arb eligible? If so, $4.3m doesn’t strike me as that far below market at all.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

        Lincecum got $8M his first time, granted he had some hardwear to show, but I would think that Price has shown more than enough to get more than $4.3M

        • Gonzo says:

          Technically Timmy signed a 2 year contract. Price actually ties the record for 1st time arb eligible pitcher. I thought he’d make a little more, but he wasn’t sniffing $8mm in arbitration.

        • Steve (different one) says:

          Ok, thanks. Didn’t realize it was that high. In my head, I was thinking something like 5/8/12….Hamels just got $15m, but this was his fourth time through. Your point is taken.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      No state taxes in FL make those totals a little higher than what they are and closer to “market” value though.

    • Pounder says:

      Price looks a lot like Obama,but with a better record.

  9. theyankeewarrior says:

    Damon/Jones will do just fine until we trade for Ethier in July.

  10. paul a says:

    Iwasn’t crazy about the idea of Pena. Russell Branyan is a good inexpensive option,who has always hit well at the stadium.Platoon him with Vazquez and i think they’ll be fine.

    • CJ says:

      No they won’t. They’ll be looking for a dh by April 15.

    • CJ says:

      Branyan is shot. His career is coming to an end. He’s hit about .200 as a part time player for two years, think he’ll turn it around at 37?

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I think that, if the idea is to bring in a guy on the cheap who will use up the at-bats when someone isn’t getting a half-off at DH and is, esssentially, a bench guy with pop, I’d be willing to entertain a guy like Branyan (and, yes, I’d entertain Matsui. Sure.) I think that person’s impact won’t be much.

        If the idea is the TRUE DH one, and you plan on using guys like Vazquez and Branyan there, then good luck with that.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Please don’t take this as me trying to jump down your throat, but f*ck Vazquez.

  11. MrPappageorgio says:

    Sign Raul Ibanez, and call it an offseason*

    *If they don’t trade one of AJ/Hughes/Garcia, spring training will be fascinating.

  12. CJ says:

    I know this is an ops/exotic stat community but .196-.225 avg with 150+ strikeouts is extremely frustrating to watch on a daily basis.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      The “fucking Pena” posts during game threads would have been something indeed.

    • Needed Pitching says:

      .255 avg last year vs. RHP, which is when he would have played with the Yankees
      .255 combined with his power and OBP is plenty good (and plenty better than the other options being discussed)

    • thenamestsam says:

      Yeah, I can only imagine the arguments that would have happened on here if he had a year like 2010 (.326 wOBA despite a .196 BA) and the stattier folks kept insisting that he was still above average offensively despite that batting average. He’s definitely not the easiest player on the eye.

  13. Rainbow Connection says:

    Never heard of him.

  14. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Doomed. The lack of a “Real DH” is going to confuse the rest of the team. They’ll be all like, “who’s DH’ing?” and the other guy will be like “I think you are, dawg” and the’ll be like “nah, nah. everyone knows you do better when you have a guy who can’t field and does nothing but hit in the lineup. how do you even spell ‘flexibility.’”

    • random says:

      Having 8 offensive starters > having 7 offensive starters and a rotating bench spot.

      It just is.

      That being said, this team is much better with Pineda + Kuroda than it was with a (potential) monster DH in Montero.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      It might be fun to laugh at the concern being expressed over the lack of a DH, but how long will it be before the Yankees only have three good hitters in their lineup? And I’m not talking average-at-his-position “good” either. Shit, for all of the Teixeira haters out there, that list drops to two. I know a good DH in 2012 doesn’t solve any long-term problems, but I think the state of the offense is a legitimate concern.

  15. Gonzo says:

    Crazy trade for a DH option alert!

    Burtnett + $ for Pronk

  16. Nathan says:

    Line-up looks like:


    Wouldn’t you want a bigger bat at the #8 spot which would be Matsui over Damon? Unless you want to go Jeter/Damon at the top and move everyone down a spot.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Matsui isn’t a bigger bat than Damon these days.

    • CJ says:

      Put fielder behind ARod and push the rest down one.

      • Needed Pitching says:

        Fielder would be their best hitter, why would he bat fifth??

        • CJ says:

          He should bat behind ARod for protection. Granderson cano 2-3 pushes it back. Cano ARod fielder Tex would be the order but I wouldn’t want to move Curtis granderson out of 2 hole after last season.

      • Craig Maduro says:

        I know Prince Fielder would eliminate the “flexibility” that the Yankees just created, but fuck it. If the Yankees can’t find a way to fill the DH with something better than the slop that we keep throwing out (Damon, Matsui, Vazquez, Paul O’Neil, John Kruk) I’d love to see them just be reckless with a two year deal for Prince.

  17. CJ says:

    Some of the other dh candidates mentioned (Dan Johnson russell branyan) will come off the board when they sign with their hometown high school as varsity head coach.

  18. The Manchine says:

    I thought he’d go to Detroit.

  19. Big L says:

    I must be missing something because to me Pena is nothing but a .220 hitting bum who couldn’t hang on his first go round! He might play a decent defense, but all we need from him is his bat and and that’s the worst part of his game! Hell Jorge hit better than him last year and he was shown the door. I have to think the best solution at DH is trading AJ Burnett for Jason Bay. That solves two problems at once and might just give us a better hitter, or at least someone with more upside…

    • Needed Pitching says:

      how on earth is Bay better than Pena? or even Posada better than Pena?

      Pena last year: 225 avg/ 357 obp/ 462 SLG/ .354 wOBA
      Bay last year: .245/.329/.374 .315 wOBA
      Posada last year: .235/.315/.398 .309 wOBA

      Pena destroyed both in every category except avg.

      and the role would be mostly facing RHP next season
      Pena vs. RHP last year .255/.388/.504 .383 wOBA
      Bay vs. RHP last year .228/.297/. 332 .281 wOBA

      so in the role they might actually play, Pena trounces Bay in every category

  20. Big L says:

    Guess I was looking at the package deal. Getting rid of AJ, and his salary for Bay at about the same money. We have seven starters vying for five positions, this allows Hughes to be the fifth starter, (but I know he’ll probably end up in the pen) and sweaty Freddie to be the mop up guy in the pen. Plus Bay suffered from a concussion most of last year, so I expect he will have a much better year than his last two and I was looking at his upside. There was a great article about this trade proposal yesterday on RAB, made perfect sense to me…

  21. I'm Not The Droids You're Looking For... says:

    The problem is that your fundamental rationale about Peña is simply incorrect. He is irrefutably better than both Posada and Bay, moreso when factoring in the way we’d use him. He’s off the board now so it’s moot at this point.

    As for Bay, no thanks.

  22. Dicka24 says:

    Anyone think Pena regrets rejecting the Cubs arbitration offer? He singed for $10 million last year I think. Oops.

  23. David K. says:

    We’re lucky Carlos Pena is off the market now. He sucks against everyone but the Yankees. Against us you can expect him to hit ten or twelve homers in big spots during 2012. If we got him, though, he would have hit .220; do we need another Mark Teixeira?

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