About a month ago I asked the question should we extend Carlos Pena, since he's responded with a nice run that's seen a plunking, numerous homeruns, and a few walks sprinkled in along with even more positive comments about Tampa and the Trop and last but certainly not least taking a young guy like Joel Guzman under his wings. He's answered that question, and no I'm not merely living off of the euphoria like I have in the past (remember bullpen implosion 6 AM post? Yeah...) but the problem with Carlos is finding a true comparison both money and skill set wise.
Jason Giambi and Derek Lee can't touch Carlos' defense and power, Richie Sexson? Nada. I settled on Nick Swisher, yes he plays some outfield, but he's not good at it, and he just signed an extension in May along with similar career numbers gives us an idea of what Carlos could be worth on an open market. Plus I always use Swisher, so there's some level of familiarity which adds nothing at all to this piece but I figured I'd claim the habitual reference before someone else did.
First let's look at Swisher's deal:
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total
0.7 3.5 5.3 6.75 9 10.25 34.8
He's actually making less than Carlos this season, and if Pena were to just head to arbitration would likely make less than Pena next year. As you can tell the basics of the deal are accelerating money totals for each of the seasons and a club option in 2012 with about a one million dollar buy out.
Now their career stats:
Player Slash #'s Career AB HR Age
Swisher .250/.361/.458 1553 75 26.10.
Pena .250/.345/.490 2103 123 29.4.
Pena is about two and a half years older but otherwise their career numbers are quite comparable with Pena boasting the better slugging and the lower on-base percentage. Of course Swisher didn't get paid entirely because of prior success, but also because of projections when he reaches Pena's age and slightly beyond. Here's Swisher's 2006 and Pena's 2007 in comparison:
Player Slash #'s HRs/RBIs BBs/Ks IsoD IsoP ProSLG BABIP LD%
Pena .278/.399/.615 37/105 82/118 0.121 0.337 0.452 0.3001 21
Swisher .254/.366/.493 35/95 90/152 0.112 0.239 0.515 0.287 20
Pretty close in nearly very statistical comparison minus slash stats where Pena dominates. A large part of Swisher's contract was based on his 2006 season and potential, with Pena the contract would focus on the final of his `prime' years and extend into his early 30's. He'd likely jump the first four years of Swisher's deal in fiscal terms, but perhaps something around 8-9 million and accelerating would get the deal done?