After losing backup catcher Gerald Laird to free agency, the Tigers shored up the position Monday by signing veteran Brayan Pena to a one-year deal. The ex-Royal Pena (who turns 31 next month) appeared in 68 games for the Royals posting a .236/.262/.321 batting line in 226 plate appearances.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski believes the veteran catcher will play a big role for the team behind starter Alex Avila.
“As a switch-hitter, he will serve as a solid complement to Alex Avila as our backup catcher for the 2013 season,” Dombrowski said.
Pena too was pretty enthusiastic about joining the Tigers:
I knew GOD wouldn't let me down. When he close one door for you , he open another one .. Im a Detroit Tiger and is a BLESSING FROM GOD .
— Brayan Pena (@cuban2727) December 10, 2012
In eight season, Pena has posted a .248/.286/.350 batting line between the Atlanta Braves and Royals. And given the way Jim Leyland plays his reserves you can probably expect Pena to play anywhere from 60 to 65 games this season.
With the addition of Pena, the Tigers designated left-hander Matt Hoffman for assignment. Last season with the Mudhens Hoffman had a 3.69 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 46 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
h/t: MLBTradeRumors.com, Baseball-Reference.com