Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pena Available?

The Detroit News reports that 1B Carlos Pena may be released this week.

Personally, I just can't see this happening, especially in the league with the DH. Pena is still relatively young at 28, and was once a hyped prospect (thanks, in part, to Moneyball). While his batting average has been consistently below average and he strikes out a bunch, he has a demonstrated ability to draw walks and hit for power. Call him a poor man's Adam Dunn.

Had this situation developed over the off-season, I would have been on board for a Yanks-Tigers trade. But check out the stats for our current backup first baseman:

G   AB  R  H   2B 3B  HR  RBI TB  BB SO  SB CS   OBP   SLG   AVG    
12 37 6 12 2 0 1 6 17 5 2 1 0 .405 .459 .324

So while I like the idea of acquiring Pena, it looks like Phillips might do just fine playing once a week. Plus, there is no guarantee that he will be available:

The Tigers have said nothing that would indicate Pena is a goner. Manager Jim Leyland said again Tuesday that the Tigers will not be making any significant roster moves before Saturday and that any surprises would be on the "mild" side.

Leyland is known for being controlling of his players. Back when he was managing the Pirates, he had enough pull to nix a Barry Bonds to the Braves trade, so if he wants to keep Pena around, surely he will.

That story reminds me, buy John Schuerholz's new book, which hits shelves tomorrow.