Indians ask owners for payroll space to pursue Carlos Pena

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Carlos Pena is one of the better free agents still available and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Indians are interested in the 33-year-old first baseman.

Whether or not they’ll be able to work something out is unclear, because according to Hoynes the front office went to ownership recently to see if they could get approval for the added payroll and there’s no word yet on how that meeting went.

Pena tends to be underrated because many people focus on his low batting average and high strikeout total while ignoring his strong overall production. He hit 28 homers and drew 101 walks for an .819 OPS last season and has topped an .800 OPS in four of the past five years despite hitting just .236 during that time.

Presumably a one-year deal for something along the lines of the $10 million Pena earned with the Cubs last season would get it done. For now first base in unsettled in Cleveland, although catcher Carlos Santana would no doubt see significant action there and Matt LaPorta is another in-house possibility.

Braves place Sean Newcomb on concussion injured list

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The Atlanta Braves placed pitcher Sean Newcomb on the seven-day concussion list retroactive to Tuesday.

Newcomb was hit in the back of the head by a 102 m.p.h. line drive off the bat of J.T. Realmuto on Saturday night. The ball hit him so hard that it ricocheted to the screen behind the Phillies dugout. Despite that, Newcomb passed post-incident concussion tests and said he felt fine. It can take a little bit for concussion symptoms to become apparent, however, and that’s likely what happened here.

The Braves called up right-hander Huascar Ynoa from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Newcomb’s place on the roster.