Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hugs for Brayan and Yunie

Pena designated for assignment

Backup catcher Brayan Pena was activated from the DL and then designated for assignment Friday, a move that signaled the likely end of his Braves career.

The Braves have 10 days to move his contract, and several teams have expressed trade interest in the switch-hitter. Pena was out of minor-league options.

He could be sent to Class AAA Richmond if he clears waivers, but that's not likely. Cox said he was sure Pena would end up with a major-league team.

"It's going to be great for Brayan," Cox said. "He's going to be in the big leagues somewhere. Great kid. What an organizational treasure."

Pena hit .236 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 127 at-bats during parts of four seasons with the Braves. He hit .303 with 15 homers in 530 minor-league games.

The Braves consider Corky Miller a superior defensive player and game-caller.

"I really appreciate all the Braves and Bobby Cox have done for me," said Pena, 26, a Cuban defector who spent eight years in the organization. "It's hard. I've been with the Braves for God knows how long. But it's business.

"It's like a long-term marriage [dissolving]. ... The only thing I heard was when [general manager] Frank Wren said, 'You're not with this team anymore.' This is like my family, man. I lost it [emotionally] for a little bit."

Pena was widely popular in the clubhouse. Shortstop Yunel Escobar, his close friend since their childhood in Havana, appeared deeply saddened by the news, staring straight into his locker for an extended period after talking to Pena.

Escobar just shook his head to a reporter when asked about losing Pena.


Stephen D. Peele, Jr. said...

The business side of baseball often sucks, but tough decisions are an unavoidable part of the game.

Good luck, Brayan.


Jo said...

This is just really sad for the both of them. I'm sure Brayan will be ok, but their story is amazing and it's sad to see him go.