Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Carlos Pena: 'Ball is in (the Tampa Bay Rays') court this time'

Free agent first baseman Carlos Pena was Sirius XM's MLB Network Radio today, talking a lot about much playing for the Tampa Bay Rays meant to him but certainly sounding like someone looking for a new team, and one that, he said several times, will want him.

Some key excerpts from his interview with Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy, the former Rays TV analyst:

"There' s no secret how much Tampa Bay means to me, how much this team, I feel like I've grown. This team definitely feels like home to me. Obviously I just don't know that I would be in their plans. That's something that I can not control, per se. I think it's more on their end, kind of like the ball is in their court this time.

"I'm just kind of keeping my mind open to new possibilities and not totally just closing my mind on one possibility thinking that the only place where I could go is Tampa. I must be flexible in that sense and make sure that I do what's best for me.

"Tampa's, obviously, always going to be a special place … So very special in my heart obviously, however, I understand that sometimes (the future) may not be the way I want it to be, and I just must adjust. And I'm actually excited about the new possibilities out there for me.''

Despite coming off a season in which he hit .196, the lowest by a player with enough at-bats to qualify for a batting title (meaning he played regularly) since Rob Deer in 1991, Pena said he felt "very optimistic" about his future production: "With all my successes and struggles I feel that I am a better ballpalyer than I have ever been at this point."

And as for how he is handling free agency:

"Surprisingly, I am extremely calm about it, I know that there are teams out there that will be interested in my services. I can't stress how important it is for me to be in a place where I'm wanted and a place where they're going to be counting on me.''

Pena made $10.25-million last season while hitting a team-high 28 homers and knocking in 84 runs. The Cubs and Nationals are rumored to be interested.

Carlos Pena: 'Ball is in (the Tampa Bay Rays') court this time' 11/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 3:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon


    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  4. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  5. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.