Brayan Pena appeared in 71 games for the Tigers this season. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)
Detroit -- Hitting .397 in August couldn't do it.
Neither could a .325 batting average against right-handers.
Nothing Brayan Pena did offensively for the Tigers this season, it turns out, was enough for them to bring him back for 2014.
The Cuban-born catcher tweeted on Wednesday that the Tigers have informed him that they aren't interested in re-signing him. That means the backup catcher position, which has become a revolving door on the Tigers recently -- as Gerald Laird can attest -- now goes to Bryan Holaday.
It's understandable in this regard: Pena will turn 32 in January and Holaday turns 25 next month. Pena would also be in line for a raise to the $875,000 salary he made in 2013 -- and the Tigers were probably already at their budgetary limit for a backup catcher.
Holaday could be the better defensive choice as well. Pena threw out 26 percent of the runners who ran on him this year.
But with a .297 batting average he did everything the Tigers could have asked of him offensively, and he also became one of the more popular Tigers in the clubhouse during his one year with the team.
“His agent reached out to us and we informed him that at this point we are headed in a different direction,” Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday.
The Tigers were the worst team in baseball in preventing stolen bases in 2013. Runners were successful on 128 of 157 attempts, or 81.5 percent.
Pena threw out 13 of 55, while Alex Avila threw out 15 of 88.
In two tweets, Pena said, "I (was informed) I will not be returning to the Tigers. I want to thank the fans, the organization and my teammates for the opportunity. Now I am ready to accept a new chapter in my life like I always do -- with faith and dedication to play game that I love and respect."
Perhaps sensing he might not be brought back, Pena tweeted on Oct. 20: "Detroit fans: Thank you so much (for making me) part of your heart and to open your arms to me and my family. I will never forget you guys. I love you."
I was inform that i will not be returning to The Tigers ,i want to thanks the FANS, the ORGANIZATION & my TEAMMATES for the opportunity !!!!— Brayan Pena (@cuban2727) October 30, 2013
Now I'm ready to accept the new chapter in my life like i always do, with FAITH & DEDICATION to play the game that I LOVE & RESPECT.— Brayan Pena (@cuban2727) October 30, 2013