Pena: 'We must become a family'
The Astros have signed veteran free agent Carlos Pena to a one-year contract.
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said the team's first goal of the offseason was to increase run production, and the second goal was to add veteran leadership.
"I look forward to just interacting with them and just, looking at it that way," Pena said. "I think first of all, we must become a family. I think that's where we want to go first."
The 34-year-old Pena only hit .197/.330/.354 last season with the Tampa Bay Rays, though he did hit 19 home runs and has averaged 32 homers a year over the last six seasons. He is just 23 home runs shy of 300 in his career.
The deal is worth $2.9 million and another $1.4 million in incentives as reported by Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com earlier on Monday.
"It was inviting to me," Pena said of playing with a team not close to contending. "I've been on teams where we were thought to be the worst in baseball but very quickly, sooner than anyone else in the world would have thought, we were in a world series. So I've seen things change very quickly."
Pena said he played with Astros manager Bo Porter in AAA ball (Porter was on assignment) and that Porter took him under his wing. Pena also said he hopes to create a clubhouse culture of brotherhood. His veteran presence will be welcomed on this young team. Before Pena's arrival, 29-year-old pitcher Philip Humber, who was claimed off waivers by the Astros in late November, was the oldest player on the team.