According to ESPN, the Toronto Blue Jays are trying hard to sign slugging first baseman Carlos Pena to a contract.
The Blue Jays are without a first baseman, as Lyle Overbay became a free agent. The Jays were not interested in his services, so they passed on re-signing him.
The Jays, who were the most powerful extra-base-hitting team last season, appear to want to just keep adding to the power that gave them so much success last season.
Offensively, the Jays were an up and down club last season. When the bats were clicking, the Jays would score runs in droves, but when the bats cooled down, the club struggled mightily to score runs.
Adding Pena, quite possibly the best power-hitting first baseman available on the free agent wire, would give the Jays a lethal left/right combination in the middle of the lineup with Jose Bautista.
Pena last season hit a paltry .196 in 582 at-bats with 28 home runs and 84 runs batted in. That's a down year for anyone, but for Pena, it was especially bad.
The Jays, if they sign him, will be taking a risk that last year's poor performance was just a fluke. Last season was the first in the last four seasons that Pena did not reach at least 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in for a season.
Carlos started to regain some magic in the playoffs in 14 at-bats, hitting .286 with a home run and four runs batted in to go along with an OPS of 1.126.
In years previous, Pena's numbers were astronomical from the first base position. Having hit 31, 39 and 46 home runs the last three seasons, Pena is obviously a very potent power threat.
Talk before today revolved around whether Adam Lind could man first base, but it looks like the confidence in that proposition is fading fast, and Lind will be back to his LF/DH duties if Pena is indeed signed.
Thoughts on adding Carlos Pena to the roster?
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