The Orioles traded away their third catcher and picked up another one in the same day. After sending Steve Clevenger to the Mariners in the Mark Trumbo trade, the O's snagged Francisco Pena from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations. Pena was designated for assignment by Kansas City just earlier today.
Pena, 26, is the son of former major leaguer Tony Pena, another catcher who had an 18 year career that came to an end in 1997. Pena is also the brother of a younger Tony Pena, a shortstop whose career spanned four years from 2006-9. I guess the family catching gene only goes so far. The elder Tony Pena is the current first base coach of the Yankees.
The Royals signed Pena after the 2013 season, when he became a minor league free agent. He received a major league contract from them, so he had option years used up in both 2014 and 2015. That means he'll have an option available for next season and he can hang out at Norfolk as insurance against an injury at the MLB level. The Royals only used him for a total of eight games at the MLB level between those two years. He collected one hit in seven plate appearances.
Pena hit for power at the Triple-A level for the Royals, whose affiliate is in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. So it's cool that he hit 27 home runs in 96 games in 2014, but it only means so much. His overall batting line that year was .240/.280/.515. That is not such a good on-base percentage. That's how you get DFA'd. The Orioles have room to stash him.
The best case scenario probably involves him not appearing much or at all for the O's in 2016, although the Dan Duquette quote bot whizzed and whirred and proclaimed that Pena "should help our club in 2016." He says that about everybody.
Pena goes on the 40-man roster right away, necessitating someone being sent to the great DFA in the sky. Paul Janish, expected to get non-tendered anyway by tonight's midnight deadline, drew the short straw.