The Kansas City Royals have signed catcher Francisco Pena to a major league deal and added him to their 40-man roster, according to an announcement from the team. Pena was a minor league free agent after spending his entire career in the Mets' organization, and has never appeared in the major leagues.
Pena, 24, was signed by the Mets in 2006 as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. He has spent seven seasons in the team's minor league system, hitting .246 with 40 HR and 243 RBI in 593 career games. Most recently, Pena hit .257 with 9 HR and 39 RBI in 68 games with Triple-A Las Vegas, but the Mets opted to give a September call-up to Juan Centeno instead.
Pena is the son of former Royals manager Tony Pena and the brother of ex-Royal Tony Pena Jr, meaning that the Royals are very familiar with his abilities. Pena could compete with Brett Hayes and George Kottaras to be Salvador Perez's backup catcher, but the team's willingness to commit a major league contract to him signifies that he should have a spot secured.
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