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Chris Volstad, Brayan Pena decline minor league assignment, elect free agency

Recently DFA'd Royals Chris Volstad and Brayan Pena elected free agency on Monday.

Jason Miller

Pitcher Chris Volstad and catcher Brayan Pena chose free agency over the minor leagues on Monday, eight days after they were designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals.

Volstad, 26, was acquired by the Royals via waivers from the Chicago Cubs on Oct. 26. In 2012, he pitched to a 3-12 record with a 6.31 ERA while striking out less than five batters per nine innings. This was a far cry from Volstad's debut season as a 21-year-old in 2008, in which he finished with a 2.88 ERA.

Pena, 30, spent four seasons with the Royals, posting a .251/.291/.355 batting line. His best season came in 2009, when he put up a .761 OPS in 183 plate appearances, while hitting six home runs. Pena made his big league debut in 2005 as a 23-year-old with the Atlanta Braves, hitting .179 in 18 games. A part-time player with less than 1,000 career plate appearances, Pena is a .248 lifetime hitter.