Reds retain Pena with one-year deal

Reds retain outfielder Pena

First, the Reds cleared up a starting spot for Wily Mo Pena this offseason.

Now they've signed him to a one-year deal.

Pena and the Reds avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1.25 million on Sunday. The signing was the second of the day for the Reds, who announced an agreement with catcher Javier Valentin earlier in the day.

For Pena, the 2005 season was marred by injuries, though he still showed flashes of being every bit the exceptional power hitter the Reds think he can be.

In 99 games, Pena hit .254 with 19 home runs, 51 RBIs and a career-high 17 doubles.

A strained left quadriceps muscle kept Pena out of action from May 9-June 6, a span of 26 games.

Before the injury, Pena was batting .313 with six homers and 12 RBIs in 19 games, and he had stolen the starting job in right field from Austin Kearns. Upon his return from the injury, Pena hit .243 with 13 homers and 39 RBIs in 80 games.

In his last 11 games of the year, Pena hit just .162 with one home run and three RBIs. His season was cut short when he suffered a hyperextended lower back while slamming into the outfield wall in Milwaukee while chasing down a Bill Hall triple on Sept. 28. He missed the last four games of the season as a result.

Thanks to the Sean Casey trade, which moved left fielder Adam Dunn to first base, the Reds have a starting spot in left field available for Pena, who will turn 24 next week.

The Reds still have four players -- Dunn, Kearns, shortstop Felipe Lopez and right-hander Aaron Harang -- eligible for arbitration.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.