In a move that presumably signals his retirement as a player, longtime big leaguer Carlos Pena has joined MLB Network as a studio analyst for the upcoming season.
Pena was the 10th overall pick in the 1998 draft and played 14 seasons in the majors for eight different teams, including a brief 16-game stint for the Rangers this past season at age 36.
In his prime Pena made up for low batting averages with tons of walks and home runs, averaging 34 homers and 95 walks per season from 2007-2011 while producing an .871 OPS during that span. He finishes with 286 homers, one Gold Glove award, one All-Star appearance, and nearly $50 million in career salary.
Texas’ never-ending roster shuffling continues, as the Rangers have activated catcher Geovany Soto from the disabled list, called up catcher/first baseman J.P. Arencibia from Triple-A, and designated first baseman Carlos Pena for assignment.
Soto has missed the entire season following spring training knee surgery, but now figures to get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate over Robinson Chirinos.
Arencibia has been a career-long catcher, except he was horrible defensively and of late the Rangers have been using him as a first baseman at Triple-A. Which is fine, except he’s also a terrible hitter. He has 20-homer power, but Arencibia has hit .208 with a ghastly .255 on-base percentage and .655 OPS in 400 games through age 28, posting a hideous 415/77 K/BB ratio.
Pena was signed to a minor-league deal and then quickly promoted to the majors last month, but he hit .136 in 18 games and may simply be finished at age 36. Arencibia will presumably replace him in the lineup, but Arencibia as a regular first baseman could be one of the worst players in the league.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times has the report from Arizona …
Pena had only an outside shot at an Opening Day roster spot and sealed his fate by batting .139/.205/.167 with 14 strikeouts in 39 plate appearances in the Cactus League. The 35-year-old has hit .201/.327/.351 in 249 regular-season games since the start of 2011 and he rates poorly defensively at first base.
Anaheim also cut ties with catcher Yorvit Torrealba and infielder Chad Tracy on Sunday.
Not satisfied after signing Carlos Pena and Brennan Boesch yesterday the Angels have added another veteran left-handed bat in Chad Tracy, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
Tracy is 33 years old and spent the past two seasons as a bench bat for the Nationals, hitting .230 with seven homers and a .660 OPS in 241 plate appearances spread over 165 games.
He was once a solid regular for the Diamondbacks, but Tracy hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2008. He gets a minor-league deal and will try win a bench role as a corner infield backup and pinch-hitter.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have signed outfielder Brennan Boesch and first baseman Carlos Pena to minor league contracts. Those deals carry invitations to major league spring training, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Boesch signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Yankees last winter but he was released in July after posting a rough .302 on-base percentage in 53 plate appearances. Pena jumped between the Astros and Royals, hitting .207/.321/.346 in 328 plate appearances.
Pena has a good shot at an Opening Day roster spot because he can spell Albert Pujols at first base on days that Pujols needs to DH. Boesch is more of a longshot given the talent in the Anaheim outfield.