According to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Tampa Bay Rays have signed first baseman Carlos Pena to a one year contract worth $7.25 million, bringing the left handed slugger back after a year away in the National League.
When Pena signed a $10 million contract with the Chicago Cubs last year, I openly mocked Jim Hendry for the signing. Pena, at 32 years of age, was coming off a season in which he collected less than 100 hits and managed to strike out in more than 27% of his plate appearances. He redeemed himself with an excellent year in Chicago, getting on base almost 36% of the time, while slugging 58 extra base hits. However, the majority of his success came against right handed pitching, while he struggled against southpaws.
That’s an interesting point considering that the Rays had already signed left handed batter Luke Scott, whose splits are rather obvious as well. A $7.25 million contract is a lot for a Tampa Bay team that’s normally beyond budget conscious. However, the addition allows them to boast one of the better lineups in the league against right handed pitching.