Yankees Have Spoken To Carlos Pena

The Yankees have contacted DH/first baseman Carlos Pena, the free agent told Rich Herrera and Mel Antonen during an appearance on MLB Network Radio's Home Plate program (Twitter link). Pena also said he's keeping his options open at this point.

We heard earlier today that the Bombers have also been in touch with free agent Johnny Damon, so they're clearly kicking the tires on reasonably priced DH/1B types after trading Jesus Montero to the Mariners on Friday.

After reestablishing himself as an MLB starter with the Rays from 2007-10, Pena hit free agency last offseason and signed a one-year deal with the Cubs. The left-handed hitter, a Boras Corporation client, slugged 28 homers and posted a .225/.357/.462 line. He'll turn 34 in May.

The Yankees' current projected payroll is at about $212MM, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger, who heard earlier in the offseason that New York doesn't want to go above that figure (Twitter links). So, it sounds like the Yanks will either have to stray from their plan, or sign a Damon or Pena type at a fairly steep discount.

You can use MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker to have a look at the remaining free agent designated hitters and first basemen.

59 Responses to Yankees Have Spoken To Carlos Pena Leave a Reply

  1. Hayden "The Nomad" Miller 4 years ago

    Oh please no, Yanks need somebody who will pull through with men on base, Pena is not the answer, he is the same type of hitter as Teix has become -> HR or strike out, NO THANKS!

    • TophersReds 4 years ago

      You should have sign Willy Mo Pena based on your criteria… Oh wait…

      • d32123 4 years ago

        We should have some sort of sabermetrics entry test that people have to pass in order to post on this site.

        • TophersReds 4 years ago

          I hope you can tell that it was sarcasm.

          • d32123 4 years ago

            Sorry, was responding to Hayden, not you.

          • TophersReds 4 years ago

            It’s cool. And i’m pretty sure half of the people would fail a test like that, haha.

          • bklyn56 4 years ago

            hayden is right though…Pena is an all or nothing guy..Lest we forget he hit below the mendoza line in 2010? We need hits in the clutch…he aint it

          • d32123 4 years ago

            In high leverage situations last year, he had a 174 wRC+.  That’s among the best in MLB.

          • redsx968 4 years ago

            I know that sabermetrics work, and that some of the basic stas ESPN uses like wins, whip, era, etc. have become irrelevant. But I would fail that entry test simply by choice. Call me lazy but I’d rather observe with my own eyes if a pitcher is passable without using ERA+ or xFIP. I’d rather say that I feel like Peña isn’t clutch than prove it with wRC+ (whatever that is). Maybe I’m lazy, maybe I’m ignorant, but sabermetrics are beginning to piss me off, in case you couldn’t tell haha. Sorry for that little rant there.

          • levendis 4 years ago

            even though your a red sox fan, i love you

        • Hayden "The Nomad" Miller 4 years ago

          no matter what sabermetrics you use, the 8-10m that Pena would likely get is too much to pay for a platoon player who hit .175 with RISP last year. 

          • d32123 4 years ago

            Dude, vs. RHP last year, Carlos Pena had a .388 OBP and slugged .504.  He had a 140 wRC+ vs. RHP as well. In high leverage situations, he had a 174 wRC+.  

          • KJ4realz 4 years ago

            it doesn’t matter because “no stats besides mine matter”

          • d32123 4 years ago

            You can tear apart his full stats from last year here if you want:

            link to fangraphs.com

          • No thanks.

          • Hayden "The Nomad" Miller 4 years ago

            Ok, so he would play only vs RHP. He would not play when Arod/Jeter are being rested. He would POSSIBLY preform a LITTLE better than whoever the Yankees slot in for DH against RHP instead. (Nunez, laird etc.) Is that minimal difference worth the money they would pay for him?

          • d32123 4 years ago

            He would perform WAY better than any option the Yankees would be able to put in the DH spot vs. RHP.  And then obviously you would put Jones as DH vs. LHP.

          • Hayden "The Nomad" Miller 4 years ago

            I don’t know I guess we’ll disagree. They’re gonna need that spot to rest the old guys/test the young. Tying up money there doesn’t seem smart.

          • d32123 4 years ago

            When it comes down to it, money is probably what’s going to decide this.  If they can’t afford Pena, I could see them make an offer to Colorado for Giambi, but that would be a gamble.

          • Hayden "The Nomad" Miller 4 years ago

            Haha the return of Giambi… yikes. Money is what it’s all about, and to me in this situation it seems like it would be smarter for Cash to restrain himself.

  2. Jason Richards 4 years ago

    Makes sense Pena hits rhp very well just platoon him with Jones then on texiera’s off days you can plug pena in at first. Almost makes too much sense at this point.

    • slider32 4 years ago

      I agree, they only need him part time agains’t righties. He made 10 million last year, he would have to take a big cut.

      • I don’t understand why the Yanks are looking for a DH at all. With all those infielders in need of rotating days off from the field, don’t they really need another bench-based, utility infielder? And Pena is a strikeout *machine*. Bat him behind Jeter and Granderson and the crowd behind home plate won’t need to bring hand-fans for that half inning.

  3. Caballo14 4 years ago

    Would really love to see Pena hitting HR’s in YS3 in a Yankees uni. Just platoon him with Jones

  4. GriffeyandSizemore 4 years ago

    Yes please!!!!!!!

  5. MetsMagic 4 years ago

    I’d be surprised if he signed with the Yanks. I’m sure a contending team like the Rays will give him the opportunity to start at 1B and play full time. Of course, I’m sure the Yankees could out bid Tampa and still sit comfortably below the luxury threshold. 

    • slider32 4 years ago

      The price will be the key, Pena made 10 million last year, Damon made much less. Pena does seem to be a fit with the Rays, but at what price.

    • cyberboo 4 years ago

      You do realize that New York are only 40M above the threshold for the luxury tax right now – don’t you? Have you even read the new CBA, where New York’s tax rises to 50 percent in 2013.  Everyone is rooting for New York to hit 250M in payroll, so all the teams can share their 50M windfall every season.  lol. 

    • Keyser Soze 4 years ago

       Tampa just signed Luke Scott to play first base.

  6. diesel2410 4 years ago

    I’m pretty sure Pena would rather come back to Tampa than go to New York. If Pena takes a discount, it will be to Tampa

  7. bklyn56 4 years ago

    Sorry all I still Like Johnny Damon the best…Hits for power with the short porch in right and he’s great with men on base…plus he hits all pitching …no need to platoon…Andruw is to spell Brett Gardner when they play tough lefties or Granderson or Swisher need a day off…DH him occasionally but Johnnys the main man at DH he’s already adapted to the role and can be a fifth outfielder.
    Pena is great in the field and thats where he belongs…No roon at 1st base in NY…Let someone else sign him. I’m sure he doesn’t want to waste his defense.
    Johnny Damon is also well liked in the clubhouse …fit in beautifully and will have a major positive impact on the rest of the club.

    • slider32 4 years ago

      I can agree with that, Johnny will hit in the clutch too. Damon will cost less money.

      • d32123 4 years ago

        Pena is actually significantly better than Damon in high leverage situations.

  8. I really do like Damon more than I like Pena.  Of course Pena has his advantages in terms of age and power.  But that power comes at a cost and do the Yankees really need more power?  The other thing Pena gives us is another first baseman when we need to give Tex a rest.  Pena is a good first baseman.

    I suppose the question is, would you rather have Damon in the outfield and Swish at first or Swish in the outfield and Pena at first?  That is if Tex needs a day off.

  9. john12121212 4 years ago

    $212M lol “wouldn’t want to stray” from that figure, god forbid!!!

  10. chris_synan1 4 years ago

    Yankees fans are really optimistic when it says “Has Spoken”, it doesn’t mean anything…the Red Sox “Had Spoken” to Jayson Werth last offseason but nothing happend…the yankees are over the salary cap enough even though Pena is  a cheap option….

    • d32123 4 years ago

      Salary cap?

    • And this means that discussing the possibly of getting said players is not logical?  I mean, come on Chris this is a rumors site that invites you to post and talk about possibilities.  Stop being like that.  What’s wrong with people talking about possibilities. 

    • NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

      Seriously since when are the Yankees ever impeded by a Salaray cap/Luxury tax? I think they will be forced to think deeper however, in the end they are the Yankees and they will/must be able to spend to win.

  11. The Yankees’ current projected payroll is at about $212MM?
    What is that 5 or 6 year budget for the Orioles? A 10 yr Budget for the A’s?

    I am curious if anyone has actually done an analysis as to what exactly a World Series is worth these days? Is it worth 212 MM? What if the Yankees get knocked out again early, then what? In 1972, I am willing to bet the whole league itself wasn’t even worth 212 Million.

  12. This would be awesome he would take monteros role as a dh and would be awesome

  13. TophersReds 4 years ago

    Damn. That’s commitment at it’s finest. If it happens, you better live up to your promise.

  14. hardwired7 4 years ago

    You don’t want to know what he’d do for the Yanks to sign Fielder.

  15. diesel2410 4 years ago

    Say that again?

  16. diesel2410 4 years ago

    I don’t think so. Tampa is a much better fit and I expect them to sign him

  17. TophersReds 4 years ago

    I think he’s headed to the ER. He must of shot himself accidently and landed on the enter key, posting his comment 4 times.

    Get well soon, Fonz. Get well soon.

  18. diesel2410 4 years ago

    Ok stop posting

  19. diesel2410 4 years ago

    Carlos Pena to Tampa is not realistic??? Bahahahahahahhaha

  20. bklyn56 4 years ago

    this is true if Tex gets a half day off….if he gets a total rest than i like my combo better. Once again Damon is a clutch hitter…Pena is not.
    Pena will want to play the field everyday cause hes a gold glove caliber first baseman

  21. d32123 4 years ago

    Pena is actually significantly better than Damon in high leverage situations.

  22. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I can’t see the Rays paying his probable asking price, especially since an article says they want to wait and see what arbitration numbers are going to look like for Price and Upton. Factor in that Damon, Matsui and Vlad would be cheaper too.

  23. diesel2410 4 years ago

    The Rays can afford a 2/15 deal for Pena

  24. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    He would be hitting against RHP primarily. Last year that worked out to:

    .255/.388/.504 w/a .892 OPS, 21 hrs and 79 walks vs 115 ko (25% k).

    With a lefty friendly RF, Kevin Long and protection in the line up….I’d take that as part of a DH platoon.

  25. LouGNY 4 years ago

    Bring back Hideki!

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