Carlos Pena Released

The Tigers have unconditionally released Carlos Pena, thus ending his career as a Tiger. By releasing him now, the Tigers only have to pay 45 days of Pena’s $2.8 million salary, thus saving $2.1 million.

While the move isn’t surprising, I can’t help but be disappointed. I’m sure every effort was made to trade Pena, but there probably weren’t takers. While Pena has been frustratingly erratic, he still provides a powerful left handed bat, as well as plate discipline. While the Tigers weren’t lacking for first basemen, they are still lacking in those areas. And even despite Pena’s horrible first half, he still managed an 802 OPS in 2005.

This move definitely weakens the Tiger bench. While there isn’t a need for a first baseman/DH right now, one of the players that Detroit it relying on to man those positions is Dmitri Young who’s played one full season in his Tiger career. Omar Infante and Vance Wilson will occupy two of the 4 bench spots. A third spot will go to a backup outfielder who can probably play center – so Nook Logan or Alexis Gomez. That leaves one additional spot.

If the last spot is used to keep Marcus Thames in the organization, it will temper my disappointment somewhat. I don’t want to see the spot go to a light hitting infielder such as Ramon Santiago, or an error prone infielder such as Don Kelly.

Meanwhile, somebody will get a 28 year old power bat for cheap. Maybe Pena will never be an everyday player, and he may not be worth $2.8 million. However, he’d be a heck of a platoon option on the right team.


  1. Pingback: Detroit Sports Unleashed » Blog Archive » Carlos Pena Released?

  2. spartacus

    March 26, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    Pena won’t be missed and will find a job mucking up some other team’s bench. He just didn’t have it on a day-to-day basis, but also couldn’t produce as a part-timer in Comerica.
    I don’t care for Thames and would rather see the team bring back Phelps to serve on the bench, with D-Young bouncing between DH, of and 1st. Shelton’s a lock and will out-produce Pena’s career year with no problem.

  3. Sam

    March 26, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    I think this move was done to make room for Alexis Gomez. He is out of options, bats left-handed, can play all 3 of positions. At 27 he will never be a superstar, but will make a decent bat off the bench. He has looked good all spring. Just a guess.


  4. Nick

    March 27, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    Shelton will likely outproduce Pena’s carreer year. The real question is, will Young outproduce Pena’s season last year? If Pena and Young both get 300+ Ab’s, will Young outproduce Pena this year?

    Gomez is a nice fit for the bench and I’d rather they take him instead of Santiago. If they keep Phelps up then moving Pena makes no sense. Keeping Thames would be nice as well, as we lose him completely if he doesn’t make the 25 man.

    Unfortunately, I think they will go with two utility infielders because of Infante’s arm troubles and Guillen’s health issues. Our bench looks pretty bad this year.

  5. Joey

    March 28, 2006 at 1:04 am

    We should all be happy that we’re talking about how bad our BENCH is going to be this year.

  6. Pingback: The Detroit Tiger Weblog » Blog Archive » Not really bench warmers

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  8. tiff

    October 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    hindsight, huh?