Slugger Wily Mo Pena is hoping to land an MLB contract for the 2015 season, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reports on Twitter. Soon to turn 33, Pena — who last saw MLB action in 2011 — has received interest from at least three clubs to date.
Since leaving North American baseball behind before the 2012 season, Pena has become one of the better power hitters in Japan. After a strong performance in his first season, he struggled in limited action last year. But Pena has rebounded to post a .260/.360/.514 slash with 28 home runs over 472 plate appearances in 2014. More impressively, perhaps, he has brought his strikeout-to-walk ratio (98 K against 56 BB) down to career-best levels.
Pena was said to have had options for playing in the states over the offseason, but chose instead to join Nippon Professional Baseball’s Orix Buffaloes. (His first two years in Japan were spent with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.) Despite his impressive power, Pena never firmly established himself as an everyday player at the MLB level. He has seen action in eight campaigns, swatting 84 long balls and slashing .250/.303/.445 across 1,845 turns at the plate.