Powerful Pena Returns to Rays
Get out your Carlos Pena toothbrush holders Rays fans! The Tampa Bay Rays make another big splash in the free agent market. The Rays agree to a 1 year deal with Carlos Pena for $7.25 million. Carlos Pena, the Tampa Bay Rays all time leader in homeruns, is only one year removed from the team. Many people are excited for the signing of the fan favorite, while others have yet to warm up to the idea. It’s a good thing the people who haven’t warmed up don’t run a major league baseball team.
Before the signing of Carlos Pena, the Rays were in dire need of a first baseman. There was a lot of talk about using Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez or even Matt Joyce at first base. Thankfully, Rays’ fans can stop losing sleep at night because Carlos Pena will be the Tampa Bay Rays 2012 starting first baseman. Carlos Pena brings gold glove caliber defense, which includes a career fielding percentage of .994. His incredible fielding ability will easily replace the void left by Rays’ former first baseman, Casey Kotchman. Even though Casey Kotchman is Major League Baseball’s all time leader in fielding percentage with .998 percent, Pena brings offensive power numbers that Kotchman cannot compare to.
In 2011, Pena had a down year offensively and was still able to rack up 28 homeruns and 80 RBIs, while Kotchman had one of his best offensive years and only hit 10 homeruns and 48 RBIs. Both players are comparable defensively, but are on different ends of the power hitting spectrum. Pena has a lot more upside than Kotchman and can really help the 2011 Rays 15th ranked offense generate more runs. Carlos Pena brings a great amount of pure power. He can easily put up 25 to 30 homeruns along with 80 to 100 RBIs. This kind of production will really improve the struggling offense of the Rays.Continued on the next page