12/13/12 3:40 PM ET
Braves ink infielder Pena to one-year contract
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Pena will have the opportunity to serve as Atlanta's primary backup infielder in 2013. The 27-year-old switch-hitter owns a .233 average with a .266 on-base percentage and a .288 slugging percentage in 338 Major League plate appearances.
All of Pena's previous Major League experience came while playing portions of the past four seasons with the Yankees. He has spent most of his time on the left side of the infield. But he also made 23 appearances as a second baseman during his time with New York.
Pena batted .287 and compiled a .383 on-base percentage while playing 69 games in 2009. While playing a career-high 85 games one year later, he batted .227 with a .258 on-base percentage.
The Braves also signed backup infielder Paul Janish to a Major League contract in October. But it is unlikely that both Pena and Janish will be on the big league roster at the same time.
Because Pena is out of Minor League options and Janish is not, Pena will likely remain at the big league level when both players are healthy.
The Braves rewarded Janish with a big league contract after he served as an invaluable defensive contributor while starting shortstop Andrelton Simmons missed two months with a broken left hand last season.
Janish's season ended when he dislocated his left shoulder while diving for a ball on Sept. 18. He is expected to miss the first few weeks of the 2013 season while recovering from a surgical procedure that he delayed with the hope of being able to play if the Braves had advanced deep into the postseason.
The signing of Pena also further clouds the future of Tyler Pastornicky, who began the 2012 season as Atlanta's starting shortstop. The Braves could include Pastornicky in a trade or opt to have him spend most of this season with Triple-A Gwinnett.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.