It’s been a very slow offseason for Carlos Pena, at least in terms of hot stove rumors. The 33-year-old first baseman was understandably overshadowed by Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder heading into free agency, and even now he’s still playing second fiddle to Fielder, a fellow Scott Boras client.
Pena is one of the best remaining free agent power hitters, hitting at least 28 homers in each of the last five seasons. Although his batting average (.216 from ’09-’11) leaves much to be desired, he still draws plenty of walks (walked in 15.6% of his plate appearances from ’09-’11) and gets on base at a solid clip (.346 OBP from ’09-’11). Pena is generally regarded as a strong defender at first, but he’s going to need a platoon partner after hitting just .179/.306/.398 against southpaws from ’09-’11.
Boras is confident that he’ll get multiyear offers for Pena, who is a Type-B free agent and will not require the signing team to forfeit a draft pick. The Blue Jays, Brewers, Indians, Mariners, Nationals, Orioles, Pirates, Rangers, and Rays are all in the hunt for an upgrade at first base/designated hitter, and we shouldn’t rule out a return to the Cubs either.