It is easy to forget that Francisco Pena was a part of the Oakland A’s organization. He had signed as a veteran depth piece last season, someone that would get the call in the event of an emergency in Oakland while mentoring their young catchers. That emergency never happened and he remained in the minors for the 2021 season.
Pena will not be waiting for a minor league contract this time. In a quest to rebuild his career, and potentially get another major league opportunity, he is heading to Taiwan, having signed with the CTBC Brothers in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
Former Oakland A’s minor league Francisco Pena signs in CPBL
Pena has appeared in parts of five major league seasons, getting most of his playing time in 2018. He has a career .216/.249/.311 batting line in his 202 plate appearances, hitting five homers and three doubles.
He found much more success in the minors last year. Pena had a solid showing in Las Vegas, producing a .250/.322/.450 batting line in his 447 plate appearances, hitting 23 homers. Despite spending more time at firs tbase last year, Pena still showed that he is a strong defensive backstop, throwing out 26% of would-be base stealers and making only one error behind the plate.
However, despite that performance, it was unlikely that Pena would get much of a look at the major league level next year. He has not been back in the majors since that 2018 season, when he disappointed offensively as Yadier Molina‘s backup.
He is now heading to a different environment. Pena is likely making far more with the Brothers than he would have on a minor league deal. Likewise, at 32 years old, there is still a chance that he could rebuild his value enough to get another look as a backup at the major league level should he perform well enough.
Former Oakland A’s farmhand Francisco Pena has found a new team. He is heading to the CPBL, having signed with the CTBC Brothers.