The Giants announced Thursday that they’ve acquired catcher Francisco Pena from the Cardinals in exchange for cash. Pena, who was not on the St. Louis 40-man roster, will report to Triple-A Sacramento.
San Francisco recently brought veteran backstop Stephen Vogt from Sacramento up to the big leagues, so Pena will step into the spot that had previously been occupied by Vogt. In six games for Triple-A Memphis so far in 2019, Pena has batted .333/.429/.611 with a homer in 21 plate appearances, although that type of production shouldn’t be expected moving forward. Pena is a career .216/.249/.311 hitter at the MLB level and owns a .253/.298/.455 slash in just under 1400 PAs at the Triple-A level. Pena, 29, has caught 32 percent of would-be base thieves at the Triple-A level in his career and has generally received positive marks for pitch framing, though he did struggle in that regard both in the Majors and the minors with the Cards last season.
Stockpiling depth behind the plate has been a clear priority for new Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi in the first year of his tenure with his new organization. Under Zaidi, the Giants have signed or acquired Vogt, Pena, Erik Kratz, Tom Murphy and Rene Rivera, although the latter two are no longer in the organization. (Murphy was traded to the Mariners, while Rivera was released and signed with the Mets on a minor league deal.)