Tigers bring in C Pena

The Detroit Tigers announced the signing of catcher Brayan Pena to a one-year contract on Monday.

Pena had spent the past four seasons with Kansas City but elected for free agency after being outrighted to the minor leagues by the Royals last month. The switch-hitter started 46 times behind the plate for Kansas City in 2012 and in 68 games overall batted .236 with two homers and a career-best 25 RBI.

The 30-year-old Cuba native broke into the majors with Atlanta in 2005 and owns a .248 lifetime average and 14 home runs over 335 lifetime games with the Braves and Royals.

Pena is the favorite to replace Gerald Laird as the main backup to starting backstop Alex Avila this season. Laird signed a two-year deal with Atlanta in November.

"We are pleased to add an experienced catcher like Brayan Pena to our club," Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "As a switch- hitter, he will serve as a solid complement to Alex Avila as our backup catcher for the 2013 season."