The Tigers have informed Brayan Pena that he will not be brought back for the 2014 season. The catcher revealed the information himself via his Twitter account and MLB.com's Jason Beck confirmed the news with a Tigers spokesperson and with Paul Kinzer, Pena's agent.
Pena, 31, signed a one-year, $865K deal last winter to be Detroit's backup catcher but ended up playing much more than expected due to Alex Avila's injury problems and struggles at the plate. Pena hit .297/.315/.397 in 243 PA, the most playing time he has received in his nine-year Major League career.
Pena, a switch-hitter, was particularly dangerous from the left side of the plate, posting an .801 OPS against right-handed pitching. Kinzer could point to those batting splits as evidence at his client deserves to at least be part of a platoon, rather than just a backup. Whatever the role, it seems very likely that Pena will find another Major League contract this offseason given the thin catching market.
The Tigers plan to look within their system to replace Pena, according to Kinzer. Bryan Holaday and James McCann will get chances to become Avila's backup, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Detroit sign a veteran to a minor league deal to add some Spring Training depth.