Pena Forever Ever?

Marc Topkin's Sunday column deals with the Carlos Pena situation; will the Rays settle on a one year deal, go to arbitration, or extend the 29 year old are the three options discussed. With that looming, I must ask; should we look at a long term deal with Carlos? Say somewhere in the range of 3-4 years maybe a club option for one more, salary wise would be anyone's guess but likely a lot more than he's getting paid this year.

He does rank fourth in the American League in slugging percentage behind guys like Alex Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, and David Ortiz, and even when he's slumping (.218 BA past 28 days) he's still walking (.358 OBP), as far as his struggles versus left handed pitchers; that still exists, but he's got an .834 OPS, that alone would put him ahead of Delmon Young and Jonny Gomes.

Let's say he finishes this season with about 35 homeruns (which would break the team record) and a line of .260/.380/.560 at the moment his 39 VORP is the highest on the team, even ahead of Upton's 37 and Crawford's 33; that's not too bad of an offensive foundation assuming Pena is legit.

A .303 BABIP is well below the .364 number placed in limited action with Boston last season, he's striking out 23% of the time, walking 17% of it, and hitting at decent line drive rates of 22%; an estimated BABIP of .340; so he's actually been unlucky this year...amazing.

He loves Tampa, and why wouldn't he? The catwalks support his game of pinball and the Rays don't have a top 15, 50, 100 or even 200 prospect sniffing at his heels. It's hard to not like Carlos' performances, and it doesn't hurt that he's a team orientated guy, so what do you say?

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