We open this edition of the Rays Tank with a message of good luck to Carlos Pena, who yesterday signed a one year, $2.9 million contract with the Houston Astros. The 34-year-old will become the team's first designated hitter as they transition into the American League West. Despite the fact that he was booed throughout much of the 2012 season, Rays fans should reserve a place in their baseball loving heart for the man. He provided a lot of great memories in his five seasons in Tampa Bay. None better, to this author at least, than the grand slam he hit in his first at bat back in a Rays uniform this season.
His 2007 season was one of the biggest surprises of the past 25 years. Take a look at those numbers again: .282/.411/.627 with 46 home runs, 121 RBI and 103 walks. He was also a vocal team leader in his tenure with the Rays, routinely calling players only meetings when the time called for it. He's left the Rays once before, but this seems like it will be the final time. His numbers in a Rays uniform: 726 games, .230/.360/.483, 163 HR, 468 RBI.
In news that pertains to players still employed by the organization, minor league outfielder Cody Rogers was suspended 50 games for "refusing to take an offseason drug test." I've had my gripes with the drug testing policies in the minor leagues, but refusing to take a test is something no one can condone. Rogers, 23, is currently on Triple-A Durham's roster and owns a career minor league slash line of .248/.324/.401.
-In other news concerning former Rays property, Aneury Rodriguez has agreed to a deal with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization. The 25-year-old was acquired from the Rockies in exchange for Jason Hammel in 2009. He spent two seasons in Double and Triple-A in the Rays organization before being selected by the Astros in the 2010 Rule 5 draft. He spent 91 unsuccessful innings in the majors before being granted his free agency last month.
-The Blue Jays and R.A. Dickey agreed on two-year, $25 million extension thus completing his trade from the Mets. If he's able to come close to last year's production then $25 million is a steal.
-Are you tired of Jack Morris Hall of Fame talk? Me either. Dave Schoenfield talks about Morris and the narrative.
-R.J. Anderson takes a look at what makes Coco Crisp such an excellent and efficient base stealer.