HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros wanted to add power to their lineup and a veteran presence to their young team.
They think they got both by agreeing to a $2.9 million, one-year contract with Carlos Pena.
Pena will be the Astros' designated hitter, addressing a key need as they prepare for their first season in the American League.
The 34-year-old Pena, who spent last season in his second stint with Tampa Bay, hit .197 with 19 home runs and 61 RBIsin 2012, when he made $7.5 million.
He said that he had other offers, but felt as if Houston was the right fit for him.
"Everything seems so fresh so I wanted to be part of that new identity," he said. "Hopefully as we start creating our new identity and shaping up our culture, I want to make sure that I do everything I can to start steering it in the right direction."
Angels pay $2M to charity
NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Angels will pay $2 million directly to Josh Hamilton's charitable foundation under his $125 million contract,
Under the five-year deal completed Saturday, the all-star outfielder receives a $10 million signing bonus and salaries of $15 million in each of the next two seasons, $23 million in 2015 and $30 million apiece in 2016 and 2017.
On each June 1 of the contract, the Angels will donate $400,000 to The Four Twelve Foundation, Hamilton's charity.
A's sign Japanese star
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane hopes he got another significant addition from the international market.
The A's finalized a $6.5-million, two-year contract with Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima on Tuesday.
This marks the second straight off-season that Beane has added a prominent international player, with the team having signed Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes to a $36 million, four-year deal last winter.
If Nakajima can have anywhere the success that Cespedes had as a rookie, the A's would be ecstatic. Cespedes was major part of the team's surprising season, batting .292 with 23 homers and 82 RBIs to help lead Oakland to the AL West title and first playoff appearance since 2006.
Nakajima, 30, is an eight-time All-Star in Japan and a three-time Gold Glove winner.
Hernandez joins Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have signed right-hander Roberto Hernandez, the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona.
The one-year deal announced Tuesday is worth $3.25 million.
The 32-year-old Hernandez has pitched seven years in the majors, all with Cleveland. He was 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA last season.
Hernandez was arrested last winter in the Dominican Republic on false identity charges. They were dropped after he completed a work program.
Major League Baseball later suspended him for three weeks. Hernandez sprained his right ankle in August and missed the rest of the year.
Sox add Drew, Uehara
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox moved forward with their strategy of giving free agents short-term contracts by reaching a $9.5 million, one-year agreement with shortstop Stephen Drew.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Drew will take a physical before the deal can be finalized. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not complete.
Boston also finalized a $4.25 million, one-year contract with 37-year-old reliever Koji Uehara, a deal agreed to two weeks ago atr the winter meetings.
Drew hit .250 with five homers and 16 RBI in 39 games for the Oakland Athletics last season after being traded by Arizona on Aug. 20. In 40 games with the Diamondbacks, he hit .193 with two homers and 12 RBIs. Drew, 29, is the brother of former Boston outfielder J.D. Drew.
-- From the news services