Jeff Luhnow and first baseman Carlos Pena appeared at a joint press conference this afternoon to announce that Pena had been signed to a one-year deal with the Astros. The 34-year old journeyman first baseman was a free agent after having spent the 2012 season with the Rays organization. A first round pick by the Rangers in 1998, he has played in parts of 12 major league seasons, all but one of which were for American League teams. Pena led the American League in home runs in his All-Star year of 2009 playing for Tampa Bay. He also has a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove to his name. He is expected to play some first base, but will primarily be called upon to serve as the DH in the Astros first season in the American League. Pena had a distinct fall-off in his numbers at the plate in 2012. His major league stats can be found here. As the 40-man roster is currently full, a corresponding move will need to be made but it hasn't been announced yet. I will update my off-season transaction list when that detail is released.
UPDATE: Mickey Storey was designated for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot (for the second time this off-season) for Carlos Pena. Henceforth, Storey shall be referred to as the Rubberband Man.
Also, Baseball America posted that the Astros have signed 24-year old minor league RHP Ricky Martinez having acquired him from the Cardinals for cash considerations. According to Mike Tauser over at Farmstros, Martinez is the son of the Astros new Bullpen Coach Dennis Martinez.