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Friday, January 20, 2012

Tampa Bay Rays re-sign first baseman Carlos Pena

Big time rush…to sign him!

The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed first baseman Carlos Pena, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed.

Pena has seemed a good fit to return to the Rays throughout the off-season, as we’ve written and talked about repeatedly.

Pena played for the Rays from 2007-10, then moved to the Cubs last season. Agent Scott Boras told the Tampa Bay Times last week that Pena was open to a return to the Rays, where he had success and enjoyed the experience, and Pena told MLB Network Radio last week he was considering several options. He made $10-million last season with the Cubs.

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, rays

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. trtaylor6886 Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4041246)
Welcome Back, Carlos
   2. aberg Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4041253)
Kind of a nice story. After all of the years of fretting that they wouldn't be able to afford to keep him around, he leaves but doesn't get a huge deal, has basically the same year he's always had, and sees his value fall enough that TB can afford him again.

Now let's see if Boston wants to eat half of Crawford's salary for Wade Davis!
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4041260)
Mat Gamel breathes a bit easier.

For those not aware there were rumors that Doug Melvin might be looking to reduce perceived risk at first base by signing someone not named Prince Fielder
   4. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4041264)
Poor Casey Kotchman. The guy was practically left for dead at this time last year, then goes and has a career year (.306 BA, 128 OPS+), only to find out that Tampa Bay has no interest in resigning him...
   5. Elvis Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4041289)
A Repoz reference I'm ashamed to have gotten
   6. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4041292)
I love it. Good baseball move and Carlos was extremely popular around here with both the fans and teammates. The Rays are basically set now; I think Rodriguez will be satisfactory at SS and while I'd be happy to see them acquire a better primary catcher than Lobaton the situation behind the plate isn't awful or anything. I still think at least one starter is traded though, probably Niemann.
   7. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4041312)
Carlos was a frustrating guy to watch at the dish, but he's a good fit in a lineup where he isn't expected to be THE guy.
   8. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4041323)
He'll need a platoon partner. Those lefty splits are ugly and make his overall numbers underwhelming. Then again, the same could be said for Luke Scott.
   9. Textbook Editor Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4041331)
A Repoz reference I'm ashamed to have gotten


I've got that beat. I not only got the reference, but TE, Jr. has told me he likes Big Time Rush... based solely on seeing them on commercials on Nickelodeon... The horror! The horror!
   10. Dale Sams Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4041334)
Stupid.

.196/.325/.407 158 Ks

That's what he did for them in his last year there. Rays REALLY couldn't find anyone better as a FA or in their system? Really? Negative DWAR (is DWAR broke? i thought he was a good defender) 4 out of his last five years. I thought they were well rid of him when he left.

In 2010 out of 11 1B with 450 PA's, Pena was 9th in OPS...$7.5 mill on a limited budget for that?
   11. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4041340)
That's kind of cherry-picking, isn't it? 2010 was definitely a down year for him, though he still put up an OPS+ of 103. But in 2009 it was 133, and last year with the Cubs was 123.

I'm not saying he's amazing or anything, but if he still puts up an OBP around .350 and slugs around .450-.480, that's not terrible.
   12. Greg Pope Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4041342)
Mat Gamel breathes a bit easier.

For those not aware there were rumors that Doug Melvin might be looking to reduce perceived risk at first base by signing someone not named Prince Fielder


What do you think about Gamel? Is he ready for the majors? Will he hit?
   13. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4041353)
He'll need a platoon partner. Those lefty splits are ugly and make his overall numbers underwhelming. Then again, the same could be said for Luke Scott.


Scott is a career .240/.318/.469 hitter against LHP. Not great obviously but I expect him to be in the lineup towards the bottom when a lefty is starting. Resting Joyce and Pena against most lefties is desirable though. I expect Brandon Guyer to be a reserve on the team so he could replace Joyce easily enough but getting Pena out at the same time will be pretty difficult unless the Rays decide to toss Brignac overboard and get a RHB backup infielder that would allow Rodriguez to shift to 1B against LHP.
   14. Dale Sams Posted: January 20, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4041357)
That's kind of cherry-picking, isn't it? 2010 was definitely a down year for him, though he still put up an OPS+ of 103. But in 2009 it was 133, and last year with the Cubs was 123.

I'm not saying he's amazing or anything, but if he still puts up an OBP around .350 and slugs around .450-.480, that's not terrible.


It would be, but I predicted his decline in 2009 and was really hoping the Rays would trade him* at the deadline.

Also...I'm SABR-inclined, but feel the scale has tipped TOO far when a guy fails to bat over .227 in his last three years. I'm also not a big fan of the 'Strike-outs aint no big thing' meme.


*Intellectually, I'm a fan of the Rays because of their underdog status. I enjoy seeing them succeed...until they do some dumb #### like play 'Sweet Caroline' after beating the Sox, or their announcers say something dumb.

edit: ALSO, as a 'fan-fave' and prodigal son...when/if he does fail..he's going to have a very long leash (Like Upton did when he batted lead-off forever with a .300 OBP for awhile) and in the AL East there's little room for error.
   15. trtaylor6886 Posted: January 20, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4041376)
@13 I saw a rumor they were interested in Keppinger.
   16. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 20, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4041377)
What do you think about Gamel?

I think Gamel will be a solid hitter and adequate defensively at first base. I am hard pressed that he would be WORSE with the glove than Prince. He will run the bases better though not nearly as entertaining.

Is he ready for the majors?

Yes

Will he hit?

Yes. The guy has 3210 plate appearances and has a line of .304/.376/.498. he has slugged over .500 at both AA and AAA. He has a good stroke. I would be VERY surprised if he doesn't generate an above average line for a first baseman in the NL.
   17. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4041422)
Yeah, this is something the Cubs couldn't afford to do.
   18. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4041440)
Let it go, McCoy.
   19. Stormy JE Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4041526)
I realize that Casey Kotchman benefited from a high BABIP last season but do the 2012 projections take note of his eye procedure (pus draining IIRC) from the previous offseason?
   20. MM1f Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4041531)
I realize that Casey Kotchman benefited from a high BABIP last season but do the 2012 projections take note of his eye procedure (pus draining IIRC) from the previous offseason?


?

What is the standard statistical method for adjusting for pus drainage again? Multiply by 1.2, right? Thats a standard part of statistical forecasting I believe.
   21. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4041542)
Yeah, this is something the Cubs couldn't afford to do.


Shouldn't you be happy that the Cubs aren't throwing money down the drain on someone who won't be part of the next good Cubs team?
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4041551)
I saw a rumor they were interested in Keppinger.


If you've got the money, having Keppinger on the bench is never a bad thing.

eye procedure (pus draining IIRC)


Gack!
   23. Stormy JE Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4041552)
What is the standard statistical method for adjusting for pus drainage again?

If nothing else, it gives a whole new meaning to the term "seeing-eye single."
   24. frannyzoo Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4041569)
"Pus Draining IIRC" makes a much better band name than "Big Time Rush."
   25. Stormy JE Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4041573)
Here is the eye pus link. Eat it up!
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4041574)
It would be, but I predicted his decline in 2009 and was really hoping the Rays would trade him* at the deadline.
But then he went and had a good season in 2011. Did you predict just a one-year decline? Or did you predict an every-other-year decline which will kick in again in 2012? I don't understand why your prediction for 2010 should be determinative here, since we know that Pena was a very good hitter in 2011.
   27. Spahn Insane Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4041588)
Yeah, this is something the Cubs couldn't afford to do.

Yeah, spending $7.5 on Carlos Pena would've been a great idea right after they traded for Anthony Rizzo. Not that Rizzo's a lock to outperform Pena this year (though it wouldn't shock me if he did, either).
   28. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4041589)
Welcome Back, Carlos


Your dreams were your ticket out.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4041590)
Good move for TB.

Is Boston going to respond at any point to the upgrades LAA, NY, TB, and Tex have made? Because they're looking like the 5th horse in the race right now.

Anyone know definitively if it's one or two wildcards for 2012?
   30. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4041599)

Yeah, spending $7.5 on Carlos Pena would've been a great idea right after they traded for Anthony Rizzo. Not that Rizzo's a lock to outperform Pena this year (though it wouldn't shock me if he did, either).


Yes it would be a great idea.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4041600)
Anyone know definitively if it's one or two wildcards for 2012?
Still not determined. Selig is trying to make it happen.
Is Boston going to respond at any point to the upgrades LAA, NY, TB, and Tex have made? Because they're looking like the 5th horse in the race right now.
The Sox were a 100-win team in 2011 by run components. They'll fall back from that baseline, but I'm expecting they'll project better than the Angels and Rays, close to the Rangers, and a step behind the Yankees.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4041602)
The Sox were a 100-win team in 2011 by run components. They'll fall back from that baseline, but I'm expecting they'll project better than the Angels and Rays, close to the Rangers, and a step behind the Yankees.

The projections are not particularly illuminating for this team, b/c we have no idea how Bard and Aceves will convert to starting, and projections don't tell you if Buchholz back is healthy, whether Crawford's wrist will lead to another lost season, or Youkilis can stay healthy as a 3B at this point in his career.

The "roll the dice" approach to the rotation seems like asking for a disaster.

   33. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4041603)
Especially after they re-sign Manny and Johnny Damon.
   34. Brian C Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4041605)
Yes it would be a great idea.

I'm not really excited to get into another fight with you, but didn't you say just last week that signing Albert Pujols to a one-year deal for the league minimum would be "pointless", on the grounds that 2011 is a wasted year anyway? I'm having trouble reconciling these two statements.
   35. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4041610)
Do you actually read what I wrote before linking it? At this point the Cubs have punted the season but my point has been for a long time now that the Cubs could have built a team for 2012 that could have been much better than what we'll get while at the same time building for the future. You know this, I've said this numerous times. Looking for gotcha moments around every corner seems rather pointless.
   36. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4041634)
You guys sound like me and my girlfriend geez.
   37. Srul Itza Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4041647)
So with Carlos Pena off the market, who are the Yankees looking to for a DH?
   38. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4041651)
my point has been for a long time now that the Cubs could have built a team for 2012 that could have been much better than what we'll get while at the same time building for the future.


The problem is that if a Pena signing would do this, so would a Maholm signing, but you're strongly in favor of the one and strongly against the other. It's a very strange philosophical inconsistency.
   39. Brian C Posted: January 20, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4041699)
The problem is that if a Pena signing would do this, so would a Maholm signing, but you're strongly in favor of the one and strongly against the other. It's a very strange philosophical inconsistency.

In fairness to him, IIRC he was willing to have the Cubs give Pena a three-year deal. I guess if you're that fond of Pena it's easy to see him as part of a good team instead of a one-year patch on a bad team.
   40. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4041712)
The problem is that if a Pena signing would do this, so would a Maholm signing, but you're strongly in favor of the one and strongly against the other. It's a very strange philosophical inconsistency

I'm in favor of signing Maholm, Pena, Ramirez, and CJ or Reyes or whomever. Signing Maholm or Pena and doing nothing else is pointless.


In fairness to him, IIRC he was willing to have the Cubs give Pena a three-year deal. I guess if you're that fond of Pena it's easy to see him as part of a good team instead of a one-year patch on a bad team.


I was in favor of giving Pena the market rate for his services be they two years or whatever.
   41. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: January 21, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4041756)
You guys sound like me and my girlfriend geez.


You two talk about Casey Kotchman's eye pus a lot?
   42. SouthSideRyan Posted: January 21, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4041764)
The draft pick compensation from Pena is better than having Pena on the team.
   43. McCoy Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4041837)
We'll see but I highly doubt it.
   44. Stormy JE Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4041847)
So with Carlos Pena off the market, who are the Yankees looking to for a DH?

Raul Ibanez?
   45. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4041948)
The Yanks should probably grab Damon at this point.

Yeah, spending $7.5 on Carlos Pena would've been a great idea right after they traded for Anthony Rizzo. Not that Rizzo's a lock to outperform Pena this year (though it wouldn't shock me if he did, either).

I thought the consensus was that Rizzo at least starts the year at AAA. Pena would have taken time from LaHair. On the other hand, LaHair projects about the same as Pena. I'd have much rather have seen the Cubs convince ARam to come back than sign Pena.

Anyway, as McCoy notes, it's all moot at this point. The Cubs are essentially stuck with the team they've got.

Hey, looks like the Cubs have signed most of their arb guys.

Soto 4.3
Volstad 2.7 (woo-hoo, we actually lost $100 K on the Z deal)
Wells 2.7
Stewart 2.2
Baker 1.4
DeWitt 1.1

Garza, Samardzija, Corpas and Sonnanstine to go.

If Garza's not traded, we'll probably sneak past the $100 M mark but that includes the $16M we paid the Marlins to take Z. Anyway a payroll cut of $30+ M to go into Ricketts' pocket.
   46. Chicago Joe Posted: January 21, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4041955)
You guys sound like me and my girlfriend geez.


She must be a screamer.
   47. Stormy JE Posted: January 21, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4041982)
The Yanks should probably grab Damon at this point.

Sure, but does Damon, who is actively pursuing 3K hits, want to be stuck platooning in the Bronx?
   48. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 21, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4041990)
Does Damon want to take another $3M pay cut?
   49. Stormy JE Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4042159)
Does Damon want to take another $3M pay cut?

I find it difficult to believe that an offer to play every day for the Tigers would be less than what the Yankees would offer him for 100 games. If that were the case, then the Yankees, not the Rays, would have signed Pena.
   50. Something Other Posted: January 22, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4042210)
I realize that Casey Kotchman benefited from a high BABIP last season but do the 2012 projections take note of his eye procedure (pus draining IIRC) from the previous offseason?

?

What is the standard statistical method for adjusting for pus drainage again? Multiply by 1.2, right? Thats a standard part of statistical forecasting I believe.
Let me help you grasp the point.

The "roll the dice" approach to the rotation seems like asking for a disaster.
The Sox have taken strange approaches to pitching in the Bill James era. There was the closer by committee delight, the 'let's load up on injured old guys' phase, then we were treated to 'hey, what do we need with Kevin F. Millwood--what could possibly go wrong?' Not to mention the 33m in the toilet between Lackey and Matsuzaka.
   51. Walt Davis Posted: January 22, 2012 at 02:17 AM (#4042242)
I'd forgotten about the Tigers ... Damon to the Tigers makes even more sense for both.

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