Discussion: Carlos Pena

As the 2009-2010 offseason draws to a close, Hot Stove junkies are already looking ahead to next offseason's free agent market. One of the biggest names slated to hit the market is Carl Crawford of Tampa Bay, but he's not the only big name Ray scheduled to become a free agent. Carlos Pena, the team's first baseman since signing a minor league deal back in 2007, will also hit the open market.

The 31-year-old Pena will earn $10.125MM in 2010 as part of the three-year deal he signed back in 2008, making him the highest paid player on the team. Tampa's payroll is slated to drop below the $60MM mark in 2011, which makes it unlikely that Pena will be back in a Rays' uniform next season. The team that loses out on a potential Adrian Gonzalez bidding war could turn to Pena, who provides similar qualities as a patient (.382 OBP over the last three years), power bat (.553 SLG) from the left side with solid defense (+1.3 UZR) at first. 

What do MLBTR's readers think is in store for Pena this season? Will Tampa Bay make him available if they fall out of the race? Or perhaps trade him even if they are in it just to get something in return as opposed to letting him walk as a free agent? What kind of contract could he be looking at after the season?


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63 Comments on "Discussion: Carlos Pena"


bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

If they are in it then no, he stays. If they are 5+ games out by the All-Star break then he gets moved.

The problem is that there are lots of options for 1B/DH. While Pena certainly is an upgrade over virtually all those options, I don’t know if teams will pay top dollar for a few months of a power bat.

Glove Affair
5 years 6 months ago

A power bat, an energizing presence in the clubhouse….and of course, a whole bunch of strikeouts!

JaY_Patel
5 years 6 months ago

Only one team comes to mind that needs POWER….Giants but his power might decrease at AT&T park. Man i Hate are park for being a pitching ball park

BLB25
5 years 6 months ago

Its not

BLB25
5 years 6 months ago

Its not a pitching park. Look at the numbers.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

Jason giambi?

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

Crawford is overrated.. A lifetime .335 obp doesn’t scream front of the lineup player that he will be for the yankees in 2011. Though his speed is good.

The turf he plays on has gotta catch up with his speed/defense eventually.

I’m gonna say pena is a mariner by deadline IF the rays aren’t in contention. Otherwise the rays will just take their 2 DP’s next year.

5 years 6 months ago

Will they risk offering him arbitration though? If he accepts, that’s a ton of money they’d have to assume.

PRKnight
5 years 6 months ago

i agree with you its a major risk offering arb now a days with players not getting what they think their worth. But if i got to say anything about it is that he doesn’t get traded and leaves at the end of the year. Im guessing to the Mets cuz he plays good D, he’s a power bat which they need and he’s Spanish so that fits in too, maybe 3/34 mil.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

You forget his agent is boras and him taking arb just makes him 1 year older and that much less attractive when he does hit FA

5 years 6 months ago

how does him being spanish have to do with anything? mets have ike davis, he will be ready by 2011. they don’t need him.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Actully I disagree. If he becomes a Yankee, his power numbers will increase but regardless of his power…He is a solid hitter who steals bases and and is simply, a threat. He is a grinder bigtime.

TVReviewsion
5 years 6 months ago

I could see the M’s acquiring either him or Crawford (or both!) at the deadline if they (the M’s) are in contention and the Rays arn’t.

iwishihadaclue
5 years 6 months ago

Both players? One I can see but BOTH?

TVReviewsion
5 years 6 months ago

Not likely. But still possible if they give up a lot.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

After the M’s dealing practically their entire farm and young players to the Jays and Phillies, what could they possibly give up to acquire both players?

BLB25
5 years 6 months ago

Ackley

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah, but Z won’t trade Ackley for Pena & Crawford, hence me not mentioning him.

BLB25
5 years 6 months ago

Ackley

5 years 6 months ago

How did the M’s empty their farm? They gave up three “ok” prospects to Philly and only traded Morrow to Toronto??

vtadave
5 years 6 months ago

Arbitration:

Pena – No
Soriano – No
Crawford – An easy yes. You think a team would hesitate to give up a 1st or 2nd round pick for Carl Crawford?

As for his OBP – .364 last year and about .350 over the past four seasons, with 2008 looking like an outlier.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

They have to offer Pena arb.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

You would figure that if Pena has similar power seasons in 2010 as ’09 and ’08 he would easily be a type-A free agent.

jrodhard
5 years 6 months ago

this will be pena’s age 32 season. which means anytime that signs him would be taking him from age 33 on. I can’t see him getting more than a 2 year deal from an NL team and maybe a 3 year deal from an AL team since he could DH in hs age 36 season if his defensive skills diminish. The Yankees are out with Texiera signed long term. Eliminate most of the small market teams (Oakland, KC, Cleveland, Toronto, Baltimore and a few others). I just don’t see a huge market for him based on his age and what salary he will likely demand.

Whatever happens, Pena should leap at the first offer of 3 years plus he gets so he doesn’t end up like Johnny Damon…

The Mythical One
5 years 6 months ago

If you think the Orioles won’t be looking at a guy like Carlos Pena then you’d be silly. The heir apparent is Brandon Snyder who is a converted C who has had shoulder injuries and leg injuries in the past and though his bat has hit for high averages in the past, he’s never shown much power and his numbers took a dive at AAA last season. Since the O’s aren’t going to want to part with the young talent that it would take to pry away Adrian Gonzalez, I am sure they’d be interested in Carlos Pena as a FA. The current payroll is around $65mil and they can go up to $90mil comfortably. Pena is that 30-40HR bat the Orioles do not have and I don’t see coming from the system.

jrodhard
5 years 6 months ago

if the Orioles want to overpay for him, go ahead…But if they back up the truck for him like they did with Texeria they will be greatly dissapointed. Having watched Andy MacPhail caustiously spend money while running the Cubs, I doubt he has teh guts to get a deal done with a big time free agent any way.

The Mythical One
5 years 6 months ago

Any team not named the Yankees spends money cautiously. I am just simply saying that the Orioles have a need for that type of bat at that position and have the flexibility to add salary. The Orioles aren’t going to give up some of the premium names in their system to get Gonzalez. The Orioles could afford him, that was my point. Whether MacPhail actually signs him, that is another issue.

5 years 6 months ago

“Any team not named the Yankees spends money cautiously”

I think this just make you blind. Do you know how many bad contract there are from other teams. Please tell me what player in the current Yankees team did not play up to his contract, unlike Zito, Soriano, Wells, Silva, Bradley, and on and on.

Please move on from attacking the Yanks on their contracts and payroll.

The Mythical One
5 years 6 months ago

You can think what you want, doesn’t make you right. I will stop “attacking” the Yankees and their payroll when they aren’t the only team in baseball that has a $200+ payroll.

A lot of those names you mentioned were not considered to be bad contracts at the time they were signed. Zito was coming off of a lot of success in Oakland before going to San Francisco and having arm problems. Soriano was one of the top sluggers in the game at one point, Wells (Vernon?) is on the back end of a long contract and has been a major player for the Blue Jays for many years until recently, and Milton Bradley was coming off of a good season with the Rangers and has always been able to hit.

Name one other team who could afford to go out and sign Teixeira and Burnett one year, then come back and sign C.C. Sabathia the next season while keeping the other two all along while the payroll was around $160-180million at the time these players were signed. So no, the Yankees aren’t making too many bad choices but that is my point. It doesn’t matter if they do like they proved with the Pavano signing.

Take a look at the last couple of off seasons. Save for the cream of the crop, other guys are not making anywhere near what they used to because most other teams simply can’t afford to pay them those crazy salaries anymore based on a couple of good seasons.

jterp09
5 years 6 months ago

I could see the Orioles making a run at Pena as a free agent if they are at all disappointed in Brandon Snyder’s progress this season. I think the Yankees will have a ton to spend obviously, but I think the O’s might too.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

I’m not sure what Carlos Pena could rake in from free agency. His power numbers are solid with an .893 OPS. But man, no one could overlook that .227 BA. His offensive numbers are somewhat comparable to Russell Branyan, who had an .867 OPS, 31HR aswell and a slightly better BA at .251, and look how his offseason is going so far..

If Pena hit the free agent market in this winter, he wouldn’t make the same as last season. If he can turn his BA around and keep the OPS around .900+, there’s no reason he can’t make around $12-million a season.

If traded mid-season, my guess too would be the Mariners.. if they have any prospects left besides Ackley to trade.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

BA means nothing

He has consistently had a .350obp which is what really counts

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

It matters when last season he was home run or strike out.

RanceMulliniks
5 years 6 months ago

That’s exactly the point – he wasn’t just a HR or a K even though he hit under .230. He was a HR, a K or a BB – his .356 OBP (career .355) isn’t too shabby.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

Ugh. I understand that his OBP was decent, but Pena is paid to drive in runs, not take walks. But that’s beside the point. All I’m saying is theoretically if his BA was higher last year, that is equivelant to more hits, which means more RBI.

To prove my point, Pena hit 9 less HR’s in 2008 than 2009, his doubles almost exactly the same, same with triples, yet he drove in more runs and hit for a more respectable .250AVG. His OBP was better that year too.

fartfingers
5 years 6 months ago

Actually, Pena is paid, like all ballplayers, to contribute to the team’s offense by not making outs. He did a decent job of that, slugging the most HRs in the league and driving in 100 despite missing time. Batting average is one of the most overrated stats, as it does not tell the whole story.

meddler
5 years 6 months ago

Plus a repeat sub .230 batting average is very unlikely. He strikes out too much to be a high average guy, but I’d expect .250-.270 to be much more reasonable than .227. His BABIP last year was just .250, off a career .288 rate and marks no lower than .293 in every other season since 2005. If his BABIP is back in .290+ range, his average is at least .250, and if his walk rates and ISO stay the same (the former has each of the last three seasons and the latter each of the last two) that’s also a solid boost in OBP and SLG as well.

Though it does appear the low BABIP was more than a superficial problem, his IFFB% increased and his LD% decreased, but not enough to shave nearly .040 points of his BABIP. Even if his BABIP is just .270 he should have around a .250 average.

5 years 6 months ago

I think pena could go to the orioles, maybe the redsox if they cant get a first baseman. He brings power and good fielding, so teams will jump at that. As for crawford, i really think he’ll go to free agency, he would end up missing out of alot of money if he didn’t go to free agency. You figure the yankees will go after him without a doubt, and at least 3 other teams will. If there ends up being a bidding war, he could end up with up to 20 million (EXTREMELY DOUBTFUL, but possible). At the least he’ll make around 15 million a year.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

I thought about him going to the Red Socks, but what do you do with Youkilis? No matter how shitty UZR may be, Pena’s was -4.6 and Youk’s was -1.6. Also, Youk’s .961 OPS is much better than Pena’s .893.

redsox4120
5 years 6 months ago

Sox only signed Beltre for a year, Pena could push Youkilis over to third.

crackman
5 years 6 months ago

I bet the red sox feel pretty dumb about cutting pena back in 2006. I always thought that was one of theo’s worst moves.

Dmarkos
5 years 6 months ago

He was also cut by the Yankees and Tigers that same season. Clearly he figured something out AFTER all of that happened. Im also not positive they cut him, did they? or did they just let him walk in FA?

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

They didn’t have a spot for him, Youk was clearly entrenched at first, Ortiz at DH, and Lowell at third. It was more or less he requested a shot to get a starting job with another team. He made a turn around and it turned out to be a great pick up for the Rays. That does not however mean it was a bad move for the Sox.

Bravoboy10
5 years 6 months ago

He’s a solid defensive 1B, but not amazing. What about 3/40 to DH for the Yankees? 150 HR’s wouldnt be impossible, not probable, but possible. If they don’t get A-Gon then I think Boston is alomst a lock. Mets may want him, but I don’t see it.

5 years 6 months ago

Most people seem to think he’s coming to Boston. If he comes though, it better be at Theo’s price. I wouldn’t give up an arm and a leg when we can just sign him after next season. Go after someone else if necessary, and I’m sure Theo will. He’s too sold on the players Hoyer will desire. Kelly’s not leaving. Buchholz is not leaving unless something drastic happens. Bard’s not leaving… Westmoreland is probably not leaving. So unless they want to discuss a package of like, Tazawa, Bowden, Reddick, and if its desperate he may toss Buchholz in there… But anything more than that is too much.

Bravoboy10
5 years 6 months ago

I was referring to him signing via free agency with Boston, not trade.

jhon325
5 years 6 months ago

The shift played against him took away 30 to 40 points from his 2009 ave. Hes an amazing 1B !! I watched him play for the past 3 years and believe me ! hes amazing !

5 years 6 months ago

Honestly… I don’t get it… Didn’t Pena hit like .220 last year? He normally hits around .250 with 35-45 homers or so? I’d not give him much more than Dunn… Maybe 3/33 at the absolute max, but who knows. So many teams are willing to give up a lot of money to risky guys. I remember at a point last season though where he had more homers than singles… That is something I didn’t know was possible.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

Dunn loses value in defense.

And I’ve said it before, if he is gonna have an obp of .380+, who cares what his BA is.

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 6 months ago

I think he’ll get a good deal, but he will be one of the last to get a deal next off-season.

5 years 6 months ago

This is a Roto question but … I’ve got 2 keeper picks available for:
NFeliz
ABailey
MBumgarner
CPena

Most 1B’s are gone, but I don’t think Pena makes it.

basemonkey
5 years 6 months ago

The Orioles have been on the market for a good 1B for a while now, and they’ve been biding them time saving money, getting out of bad contracts, while priming their young team for a legitimate push starting 2011.

It might line up where Pena might be a very reasonable fit, since he wouldn’t have to make much of an adjustment since he’d stay in the same division. Mike Gonzalez chose the Orioles over other good offers from good teams, simply because he sees the Os as a young rising team. Maybe Pena makes the same conclusion?

goldenglove002
5 years 6 months ago

Braves would probably show interest in him midseason if Glaus doesn’t work out.

bobbybaseball
5 years 6 months ago

Pena has experienced a steady decline* the past three seasons and he turns 33 in May.

2007: .282 /.411/.627
2008: .247/.377/.494
2009: .227/.356/.537
*SLG up in 2009

I don’t think I would sign him to an expensive, long-term contract.

tyler41
5 years 6 months ago

Giants need to get Pena even though I’d rather have adrian but thats not gonna happen. pena has enough power to still hit 30-35 out of at&t and is a plus 1B.. one year of huff and go hard after pena

markjsunz
5 years 6 months ago

The owner of the rays was quoted in an article that this years Rays team is the best team they ever had. And they plan on playing in the post season. Not sure that will come to pass, but they have some talented young pitching and if the staff can come together there offense is there. The yankees are the class of the east but baseball is funny, a few injurys here and there guys slumping, and sometimes a team just puts it all together, and jells and beats the favorites. For those who believe you can get 20-1 in vegas

yankeepride3
5 years 6 months ago

Seattle seems perfect to me. Team needs a power hitter who can play above average defense. Fits perfect.