According to an official statement released by the club on Monday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals have granted veteran catcher Brayan Pena his unconditional release. The 34-year-old is a 12-year big league veteran but spent just the 2016 season suiting up for the Cardinals.
After breaking into the league as a member of the Atlanta Braves, Pena has also played for the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds along the way.
In what would become his lone campaign in St. Louis, Pena made just nine appearances for the Cardinals. Amassing 13 at bats in all, he produced a .154 batting average and .214 on-base percentage while failing to register a single home run or RBI. For his career, Pena has managed a .259 batting average with 23 home runs and 164 RBI to accompany his .299 on-base percentage.
His best single-season effort came back in 2013 while with the Tigers. In his only season in the “Motor City,” the Cuban-born catcher posted a .297 batting average with four home runs, 22 RBI and a .315 on-base percentage over the course of 71 appearances.
Although several clubs from around the big leagues could use a backup catcher, it would appear that Pena’s playing career has come to an end as he missed the majority of last season as after undergoing knee surgery. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether a club will give the veteran backstop once last chance as a big league catcher come the spring.
In 2016, the Cardinals notably missed the postseason for the first time since 2010.