Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that unless the Tampa Bay Rays’ financial situation drastically improves. they could end up trading both Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.
Cafardo puts the time-line of something happening at around the trade deadline, but maybe an enticing package can accelerate the situation.
When you think of a comparable player to the powerful Carlos Pena, the first name that comes to mind is Adam Dunn. And while the comparison is valid and justified, Pena might be just a tick better because defensively he’s significantly better than Dunn at first base. That’s not to say Carlos Pena will invoke memories of Keith Hernandez at first base, only that he can hold his own and make the routine plays.
Of course when you consider a guy like Carlos Pena, your only motivation is the power he brings to your team. Only a few baseball players are known to have the kind of prodigious power that enables them to hit a baseball out of any ballpark. They include Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Carlos Pena.
In the last 3 seasons, he has slugged 116 home runs for an average of 35 per season. He has driven in 323 runners in that same span for an average of 108 RBI’s per season.
Like Adam Dunn, he consistently ranks among the league leaders in both strikeouts as well as walks. In fact, despite his low .252 batting average over the last three seasons, his on-base percentage is a robust .382. His .553 slugging percentage is on par with many of the elite power hitters in the game and combined with his on-base, it gives him a .935 OPS over his last three seasons.
Although I am not a big proponent of WAR, I’ll cater to those readers who are beholden to it and point out that his WAR for 2009 was 2.6 and CHONE projects him for 3.6 in 2010. From what I understand, that makes him a nice addition for the Mets. The only player on the Mets who logged more than 500 at-bats in 2009 and had a higher WAR than Pena was David Wright at 3.4.
You may recall that Pena’s season ended abruptly in 2009 after breaking his fingers. He is doing fine now, “I feel great,” Pena said recently. “I’m very happy with that. My hand is pain-free – no discomfort at all.”
Pena, 31, is in the walk year of his contract and becomes a free agent at the end of this season. He may be strongly motivated to turn it up a notch as he sets himself up for what could be the final multi-year contract of his career.
The left handed Pena, would render Daniel Murphy useless for the Mets and he could be packaged along with a prospect to land the Tampa Bay slugger.
His addition to the Mets would clearly give them one of the most formidable lineups in the league upon the return of Carlos Beltran.
1. Jose Reyes
2. David Wright
3. Carlos Beltran
4. Jason Bay
5. Carlos Pena
6. Jeff Francoeur
It would be hard to top a 1-6 that looks like that. Pena is a positive influence on his teammates and has served as a mentor for many of the younger players who all look up to him.
He sounds like everything the Mets could use right now, and he would certainly provide a nice morale boost heading into spring training.