Carlos Pena

JMB · March 27, 2006 at 12:22 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Tigers released 1B Carlos Pena yesterday. If you were on the Hee Seop Choi bandwagon, you should certainly be on the Pena bandwagon. Heck, some of us were stumping for a trade for Pena this winter, and now he’s available for free (well, almost). Pena v. Choi: Pena’s older, sure, but he’s also had more success at the major league level and doesn’t have nearly the platoon issue Choi does.

Negatives? Sure. He doesn’t hit for average. He strikes out a ton. But he also hits for pretty serious power — for his career, better than 43% of his hits have gone for extra bases. He draws walks at a good clip. With these ‘old player’ skills, Pena likely won’t age well — some would argue he’s already not aging well — but the M’s don’t need a five-year solution here, they need that infamous left-handed sock.


46 Responses to “Carlos Pena”

  1. David J. Corcoran on March 27th, 2006 12:30 pm

    do you think he is fast enough to be a capable option in the outfield?

  2. scraps on March 27th, 2006 12:31 pm

    He’s another guy who’s saddled with the Underachiever label, though, so I wonder if the Mariners will even consider him.

  3. DMZ on March 27th, 2006 12:32 pm

    They don’t need left-handed sock, silly. They needed it, that’s why they got Everett! No need for more!

  4. DMZ on March 27th, 2006 12:32 pm

    Why not? The Mariners have been saddled with the underachiever label for a couple years now.

  5. Tek Jansen on March 27th, 2006 12:41 pm

    I mentioned this in a thread a day or two ago, but I will address it again. Given that Pena would not likely receive that many ABs, how much of an improvement over Petagine would he be? I am sure that Pena has a more promising future, but what would he do for the ’06 M’s that Petagine would not?

  6. robbbbbb on March 27th, 2006 12:48 pm

    Pena has a definite upside. More, if he’s capable of playing LF/RF.

    What does the bench look like with Carlos Pena on it? Both now, and after the return of Jeremy Reed?

  7. msb on March 27th, 2006 12:49 pm

    the Freep had a piece about Pena this morning:

    “Sunday’s news from Tigers camp was bluntly simple: First baseman Carlos Pena has been released. The full story is as deep and mixed as Pena himself.

    Pena is all of the following: a former first-round draft pick; a key part of the Jeff Weaver-Jeremy Bonderman trade in 2002; a power hitter who led the Tigers with 27 home runs in ’04; an above-average fielder; and a witty, engaging man who once entered the clubhouse with a bag of reading treasures from Barnes & Noble.

    But Pena is also all of the following: continually strikeout-prone; lost his job to Chris Shelton because he hit under .200 the first two months of last season; a man without a position on this year’s club whom the front office couldn’t trade, no doubt in part because of his $2.8-million salary; a .160 hitter this spring who had to be released by Wednesday, lest the Tigers owe him all of that $2.8 million; and someone who seemed to withdraw from teammates this spring.”

  8. eponymous coward on March 27th, 2006 12:55 pm

    Let’s see, a list of players that the M’s did or could have signed for their DH/LH/lefty power holes if they had signed Millwood instead of Washburn:

    Matt Lawton
    Roberto Petagine
    Russ Branyan
    Hee Seop Choi
    Carlos Pena

    If you REALLY want to distort your brain, imagine them 86’ing Bloomquist and Moyer or Meche, and picking up D’Angelo Jiminez and Esteban Loaiza.

  9. Paul B on March 27th, 2006 1:15 pm

    Is Pena better than Lawton? or Petagine?

    I’m not sure I’m seeing the need for all 3.

  10. Evan on March 27th, 2006 1:17 pm

    I think the point is that each of the 5 guys ep listed is better than Carl Everett.

  11. tgf on March 27th, 2006 1:22 pm

    And cheaper.

  12. ChrisK on March 27th, 2006 1:50 pm

    Yeah, but..but..Carl Everett has a world series ring! Therefore he’s a winner! And the other guys are losers!

  13. Matthew Carruth on March 27th, 2006 1:53 pm

    Well, there’s little reason to not stockpile the talent if you can get it for cheap. The Ms sorely lack “replacement level” hitters, something they could have stocked up on instead of paying 4M for. And still could. If you wanted LH hitters with high ISO, this was your wet dream week. Too bad the Ms FO doesn’t realize it.

  14. CCW on March 27th, 2006 1:56 pm

    Check out this list of players that have been non-tendered this year:

    Petagine (right?)

    Yet the Ms sign Everett for his “lefty pop”. Someone doesn’t understand replacment level…

  15. terry on March 27th, 2006 2:01 pm

    If only there was a roster spot for Pena….

  16. Evan on March 27th, 2006 2:06 pm

    I liked Branyan as a project. But Choi is a quality major-league hitter right now. Choi’s easily the best of this bunch, and he was freely available.

  17. jtopps on March 27th, 2006 2:06 pm

    Wait. I don’t have a World Series ring. Therefore, I am a loser.

    But its ok, because I am not mentioned in the Bible, either. Which means I don’t exist, according to “The Truth”.

  18. ChrisK on March 27th, 2006 2:09 pm

    Aren’t we just wasting our energy at this point? The M’s FO believes in the power of intangibles and does not understand the concept of replacement level. That is not going to change. Does anyone think they’re going to take a look at Pena? They already checked “lefty sock” off their to-do list when they signed Everett. In their minds, the issue is resolved (“A left-handed bat? Why do we need another one? We already signed Carl. Move on.”)

  19. Steve T on March 27th, 2006 2:18 pm

    Why do they need more left-handed sock? Geez, that’s like saying you need more than one starting pitcher.

  20. colm on March 27th, 2006 2:41 pm

    Misread 14 as ‘lefty poop’.

    Seemed to make just as much sense that way.

  21. David J. Corcoran on March 27th, 2006 2:48 pm

    17: By that logic, Carl Everett doesn’t exist either.

  22. Grizz on March 27th, 2006 2:51 pm

    To be fair, neither Branyan, Petagine, Choi, nor Pena were “freely available” when the M’s signed Everett. They were all under their former team’s control back in December. The Everett signing was terrible in terms of both payroll and roster flexibility, considering that management should have reasonably expected that less expensive, moderately better players would become available later in the offseason. But it appears a bit unfair to fault Bavasi for not foreseeing that Choi and Pena would be released during the last ten days of spring training.

  23. JMHawkins on March 27th, 2006 3:01 pm

    They don’t need left-handed sock, silly. They needed it, that’s why they got Everett! No need for more!

    It’s good to change socks every once in a while.

  24. Karen on March 27th, 2006 3:12 pm

    RE: the #7 post by msb with a link to the Detroit Free Press article about Carlos Pena:

    “An above average fielder, and a witty, engaging man…continually strikeout prone…” with more plusses and minuses I haven’t mentioned.

    That part, at least, sounds a lot like Mike Cameron. Hope the M’s FO is thinking the same thing. Who cares if the guy hit .160 in ST? He could have been depressed because he was a Tiger. Those games don’t count anyway.

  25. Evan on March 27th, 2006 3:18 pm

    Cameron also drew huge numbers of walks to make up for those Ks.

    The only thing we did by letting him go was save $7 million/year to waste on guys like Everett.

  26. Smegmalicious on March 27th, 2006 3:25 pm

    Why must you tempt us with these ‘reasonable moves’ and your relentless ‘logic’? We all know that this way of thinking is completely alien to the Mariner’s front office.

  27. jtopps on March 27th, 2006 3:32 pm

    21- Maybe Carl doesn’t believe in himself. Though I think he got around this by saying he’ll believe in things he can see.

    Ahh, the Ever Empirical Everett.

  28. AMarshal2 on March 27th, 2006 3:44 pm

    Wither Roberto Petagine…

  29. Mr. Egaas on March 27th, 2006 3:44 pm

    I would have advocated a Meche swap for Pena before the Everett signing, so pick him up for next to nothing, I say, yes please.

  30. leetinsleyfanclub on March 27th, 2006 3:56 pm

    You want to get rid of Crazy Carl? On Opening Day, two people need to dress up as gay dinosaurs and dance on the M’s dugout while he is in the on deck circle. When he flips out and goes up in the stands, boom, problem solved. Goodbye Carl.

  31. msb on March 27th, 2006 4:07 pm

    the general consensus in Detroit is that Pena is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma…

  32. pinball1973 on March 27th, 2006 4:20 pm

    This move would at least LOOK smart, so I doubt it can be made.

  33. Evan on March 27th, 2006 4:22 pm

    By that logic, Carl Everet doesn’t exist either.

    The only baseball player mentioned in the bible was Julio Franco.

  34. Brian Rust on March 27th, 2006 4:26 pm

    You forgot Aaron and Ruth.

  35. Tom on March 27th, 2006 9:27 pm

    We don’t need to sign Pena, two words my friends.

    Roberto Petagine.


  36. Mr. Egaas on March 27th, 2006 10:53 pm

    Ichiro in Center, Everett in Right (shivers), and Petagine at DH is intriguing, but I’m sure it’ll never happen.

  37. matt2500 on March 27th, 2006 11:01 pm

    And now Erubiel Durazo has been let go by the Rangers. The third tree to fall.

    Granted, Durazo can’t play the field (TJ surgery), but he can still swing a bat, and continues to do so from the left side of the plate. Wasn’t he ‘Billy Beane’s white wale’ for a time?

  38. Paul B on March 28th, 2006 6:39 am

    Nah, Julio Franco wasn’t mentioned in the bible. But you know that 1927 team that had Jamie as a batboy? Julio played SS for that team.

  39. Evan on March 28th, 2006 9:38 am

    Julio Franco is 4 months older than Rickey Henderson.

  40. Paul B on March 28th, 2006 12:24 pm

    In Mariner terms, Julio Franco is older than the following players that are long gone…

    Phil Bradley
    Mike Moore
    Mark Langston
    Alvin Davis
    Harold Reynolds
    Jimmy Presley
    Dave Valle
    Scott Bradley

    Henry Cotto (Greg Dobbs is similar to Cotto in that they both just *looked* like baseball players who could hit, and so they got lots more chances to play than they ever deserved or was good for their teams)

    Yup, just scroll down a team like the 1988 Mariners and pick out all the players who are long gone but are younger than Franco.

  41. msb on March 28th, 2006 12:28 pm

    well, officially 🙂

  42. eponymous coward on March 28th, 2006 1:20 pm

    Ichiro in Center, Everett in Right (shivers), and Petagine at DH is intriguing

    Only if you think Washburn, Meche and Moyer giving up lots of flyball gap/down the line doubles is “intriguing”. Ichiro with two statues surrounding him and relearning CF on the fly, on a staff prone to fly balls and a park with a big LF…thanks, I’ll pass.

    This isn’t Frank Thomas or Edgar we’re discussing at DH, but a guy with a PECOTA projection of .257/.349/.419. I’m not convinced the marginal upgrade in offense from Borchard to Petagine is worth the downgrade in defense.

    Now, if we hadn’t signed Everett AT ALL, different story (I’d have zero issue with splitting ABs and playing time between those 3 players as cheap fill ins, with Morse a backup option learning the OF in AAA, with an eye towards platoon advantage and defensive substitutions as needed). But we’re all heard the “Everett is a waste of 3.4 million clogging the roster” broken record before.

  43. Mr. Johan on March 28th, 2006 3:12 pm

    Actually, I think you would need two gay, astronaut dinosaurs. (Post 30). He doesn’t believe we ever landed on the moon either.

  44. Jim Thomsen on March 28th, 2006 3:26 pm

    Speaking of free talent, Chip Ambres was just released by Kansas City. Being a righthanded hitter, he’s not necessarily needed in the M’s organization, but doesn’t project all that badly — no worse than Joe Borchard. And he’s younger.

    Just Generic Lesson #47 in the availability of free talent.

  45. Mat on March 28th, 2006 4:53 pm

    It’s funny how I consider being released/optioned to AAA by the Royals or the Nationals to be an endorsement. But I’m sure it was so necessary to release Ambres to make way for Reggie Sanders and his projected 8.0 VORP.

  46. Jim Thomsen on March 28th, 2006 5:25 pm

    Or Aaron Guiel-less goodness.

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