Rays ink 1B Carlos Pena to 3 year $24M deal

January 18, 2008 at 9:43 am 9 comments

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According to the St. Petersburg Times, Carlos Pena and the Devil Rays have agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth approximately $24 million. The Rays are the opposite of what the White Sox are; a team that knows how to make good deals.

The Rays are banking on Pena putting up similar numbers as he did last season. Even if he drops to a 30-35 homer guy that takes walks like he does this is still a steal of a deal.

This deal buys out two seasons of arbitration (including this season) and one season of free agency. Carlos Pena set a team record with 46 homers and 121 RBI in 2007, winning the AL Comeback Player of the Year award one year after being let go by both the Red Sox and Yankees. He figured to make between $6 million and $8 million in arbitration for 2008, so the other two seasons of the three-year deal are very reasonable for the Rays even if he predictably comes back down to earth a bit.

“It’s awesome,” Pena said this morning from the Dominican Republic. “It’s extremely exciting. I get to be in a place I absolutely love, around people that I love and people that I know care about me. It couldn’t be any better. I’m pumped. We’re celebrating.”

Pena will get salaries of $6-million of 2008, $8-million in 2009 and $10.125-million in 2010. The deal is subject to Pena passing a physical, which may not take place until next week when he returns to the U.S. Until then, a one-year deal would be in place, he said.

Pena, 29, was the consensus American League Comeback Player of the Year after a spectacular season in which he finished with a team-record 46 home runs and 121 runs batted in.

Since Sternberg’s group got involved with the team, they signed Carl Crawford to a four-year, $15.25-million deal that with options could be worth up to $35-million and gave Rocco Baldelli a three-year deal for $9-million that with options could be worth $32-million. More recently, they signed Troy Percival to a two-year deal for a guaranteed $8-million that could be worth up to $13-million with incentives.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
some info from Marc Topkin, St. Pete Times staff writer and rotoworld.com

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charlie Nehl  |  January 18, 2008 at 9:54 am

    It’s good to see the Rays spending a little bit of money this year. They’re starting to really head into the right direction. Like you say it would be a steal of a deal even if Pena puts up 30 hrs and 100 RBIs on average, for the next three seasons.

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 18, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Another thing I love about this deal is that this allows the Rays to draft whoever they want with the 1st overall pick. I think they should go after South Carolina 1B Justin Smoak and let him get some playing time in the minors and when he’s ready he and Pena can split time at DH/1B. Or it allows them to get the best high school player in SS Tim Beckham.

    Reply
  • 3. erik  |  January 18, 2008 at 10:31 am

    I think Pena gives the Rays a Veteran leadership. He is cashing in on his Comeback POY award much like others cashing in on 1yr performances. Pena I think will become the DH consider how poorly Jonny Gomes command of the strike zone and his BA dictate. Will Pena have another year like the one he did last season? I doubt it, what will dictate his year is how the players around him in the lineup hit. The only constant you can really count on in that lineup is Carl Crawford. Sorry to the younger guys but either they haven’t done it for more than a year or they’ve been injured far too much.

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 18, 2008 at 10:41 am

    If Pena is the DH who is on first? Pena is an above average defensive firstbaseman. Pena gets a good deal but he was slated to get $6-8M this year alone and that number would only go up next year in arbitration. Great deal for him and the Rays.

    Reply
  • 5. Joi Sharelli  |  January 18, 2008 at 10:50 am

    This is awesome news for the Rays and all Rays fans. Carlos Pena not only plays wonderful defense at first base, he also gave us an exciting HR hitting display keeping all eyes on him when ever he is at the plate! Not to mention he is a class act all the way! This is a win for the Rays and Rays fans!

    Reply
  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 18, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I couldn’t agree more Joi! This is a good sign that the upper management isn’t scared to spend money as long as it’s wisely spent.

    Reply
  • 7. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 18, 2008 at 11:39 am

    It is a 3yr contract worth $24,125,000, which would pay him $6 million this year, $8 million next year and $10,125,000 in 2010.

    Reply
  • 8. Chris  |  January 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    As long as he doesn’t revert to the Carlos Pena with the A’s and Tigers it’s a solid deal. There are a lot more players who make 6-8 million who are a lot less productive.

    Reply
  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  January 18, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I don’t think he reverts to those days at all. He is a more disciplined hitter and at worst he should hit 25 homers in a full season.

    Reply

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