Peña on Hall of Fame ballot for first time

November 18th, 2019

Carlos Peña, one of the key players on the memorable 2008 Rays World Series team, is a first-timer on the Hall of Fame ballot, which was released on Monday.

Peña, who signed a Minor League deal with Tampa Bay in 2007, hit a career-high 46 home runs that year and established himself as one of the key pieces in the Rays' lineup heading into the '08 season. Peña continued his success over the next three seasons, hitting 31 home runs in 2008 and 39 in '09 despite finishing the season on the disabled list.

In his first stint with Tampa Bay, Peña became an All-Star, won his only career American League Gold Glove Award at first base and hit 144 home runs over four seasons, eclipsing the 100-RBI mark three times. Peña returned to Tampa Bay in 2012, but he struggled at the plate, hitting just .197 in 160 games.

Peña hit 286 home runs and finished with a lifetime .808 OPS over a 14-year career. The first baseman ended his career with a 25.1 bWAR and a 117 OPS+.

Aside from Peña, another newcomer with Rays ties is closer Heath Bell, who appeared in 13 games with Tampa Bay in 2014 before he retired. Former Yankees Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi highlight the new members on the Hall of Fame ballot.

The 2020 Hall of Fame class will be revealed on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.