Could Royals backup catcher Brayan Pena be heading to the Tampa Bay Rays?
This is nothing more than my own speculation based on a tweet by Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com:
Rays are a fascinating team to watch. Could trade starters (anyone but Price, Moore), relievers, Upton. Looking for young catcher, pitchers
On the season, Rays catchers are hitting .194 AVG/.266 OBP/.279 SLG with 4 HR and 26 RBI (294 AB). All stats are in the bottom four in all of MLB in each category.
Since the return of Slavador Perez from the disabled list, former starting catcher Brayan Pena has been relegated to a backup role, but his aggressiveness on the basepaths and the fact he is a switch hitter could be appealing to a contender as the trade deadline approaches.
In 127 AB, Pena is hitting .252/.278/.346 with 1 HR and 14 RBI. Now, those numbers are by no means staggering, but would provide a nice bump in the starting lineup for the Rays. Pena is by no means the guaranteed out the Rays are currently receiving from Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton.
As well, at 30 years old, Pena would not be considered “young” by baseball standards, although Brayan is seven years younger than Molina and only two years older than Lobaton.
Pena’s contract is friendly to a team acquiring him in a trade, with only a prorated amount of his $875K contract still due to him in 2012. As well, Pena is arbitration eligible in 2013.
Although Humberto Quintero has moved on to the Miami Marlins organization, the Royals still have Manny Pina in the wings, being optioned to double-A Northwest Arkansas after being activated from the 60-day disabled list Sunday. Pina has been out since undergoing knee surgery in the spring. Manny was slotted to be Brayan Pena’s backup in Kansas City following the injury to Salvador Perez, before being injured himself.
The Rays organization fits the mold for what the Royals will require in return in any 2012 trade – MLB ready talent, specifically pitching. The Rays have a ton of young, cheap and pretty good pitchers – Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Archer, Jake McGee, Jeff Niemann (DL), Wade Davis – to name some of the MLB ready talent.