The Angels announced that Carlos Pena and Chad Tracy have been granted their unconditional release. Earlier today, Yorvit Torrealba opted out of his deal to become a free agent rather than stay with the Halos. Today was the deadline for the club to add all three to the 40-man roster.
Pena, a 13-year MLB veteran, was an everyday player until last season. Spending most of 2013 with the Astros, Pena slashed .207/.321/.346 in 328 plate appearances. As that line would indicate, Pena has hung his hat on his ability to get on base via the walk, which he has done at about twice the league-average rate throughout his career. Once a major power threat – he hit 172 home runs between 2007 and 2011 – Pena's HR/FB rate has dropped from a peak of 29.1% down to around the 15% level in recent seasons. Pena, who signed with the Angels in late January, does not plan on retiring because "I love the way it feels when you square up a ball, when you make a good play in the field" (per MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez on Twitter).
Even though Tracy batted just .202/.243/.326 in 136 plate appearances with the Nationals in a pinch-hitting role last season, he batted .269/.343/.441 in a similar role in 2012. Tracy broke through with an outstanding sophomore campaign with the Diamondbacks in 2005 when he belted 27 homers and slashed .308/.359/.553. However, he's been unable to replicate that form in his subsequent big league seasons.