The Cardinals finally did it and went out and got a pretty good back up catcher Brayan Pena. The Cardinals and Pena agreed to a $5 million, two-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he will be the backup for All-Star Yadier Molina.
The 33-year-old switch-hitter receives $2.5 million in each of the next two seasons.
Pena led Reds catchers with 86 games last season while batting .273 with a career-best .344 on-base percentage. His led the NL with a .999 fielding percentage, making one error in 715 chances.
The huge upside with Pena is that he is a switch hitter and has experience as a first baseman. Since debuting in 2005, Pena’s .260 career batting mark is second to Victor Martinez (.304) among active switch-hitting catchers with 400 or more games played. Pena has hit 19 or his 23 career homers off right-handed pitchers and he owns a .271 lifetime average from the left side.
With Pena signed this also means that Tony Cruz’s services will not be needed anymore. The Cardinals will not offer a contract to Tony Cruz, who is eligible for arbitration. The deadline for giving contract offers to players is Wednesday.