In a corresponding move, the club designated veteran shortstop Paul Janish for assignment. He was one of 12 arbitration-eligible players the Orioles had to tender contracts to by Wednesday’s midnight deadline.
Pena, 26, has just seven major league plate appearances, all of them coming in the past two seasons with Kansas City. He hit .251/.305/.430 with 13 homers and 48 RBIs last season with Triple-A Omaha. Pena also threw out 32 percent of potential base stealers.
He hit a career-high 27 homers in 96 games at the Triple-A level in 2014.
“Pena is a solid addition to our roster,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “He gives us catching depth and should help our club in 2016.”
Janish played most of last season at Triple-A Norfolk, hitting .235/.313/.272 in 95 games, but provided much-needed defensive stability in the middle infield with the Tides.
He filled in nicely at shortstop for the Orioles while starter J.J. Hardy battled injury, making nine starts there in the season’s final six weeks. He hit .286/.278/.371 in 14 games for the Orioles.