In his recent mailbag article for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Paul Hoynes suggested that the Cleveland Indians offered Carlos Pena more money than the Rays did. He says the Indians had an $8 million offer on the table for Pena before he accepted the Rays $7.25 million offer. Earlier in the week we learned the Rays had $6 million budgeted for Pena before upping the budget to $7.25 million due to the Tigers sudden need for a first baseman (which is now filled by Prince Fielder.
Honestly, I didn’t think Scott Boras allowed his clients to take anything but the highest offer. We knew Carlos Pena loved being a Ray, but now this is affirmed as he took less money to be a Ray and be close to home. In the grand scheme of things, $750,000 is not much of a difference for a professional baseball player, but it still means something that he took the Rays lesser offer.
The Rays may have had more competition than they originally thought for Pena. We knew they raised their budget when the Tigers entered the ring, but did the Rays think the Indians would be in it? Had Victor Martinez not gotten hurt could they have lost out to the Indians? One thing is for certain, the Rays were not going to get into a bidding war for Pena. If he had not taken the offer, the Rays may not have had a first baseman yet. Or we could have had to deal with another year of Casey Kotchman and no power from first base.