After Carlos Pena filed for free agency after the 2010 season, many thought this would be a huge blow.
At bat Pena posted a far from impressive .196 BA. Pena's fielding percentage was a respectable .995.
Pena's replacement, Casey Kotchman, batted .306 for the 2011 season and posted an almost flawless fielding percentage of .998.
So in the end, losing Pena wasn't a big blow. In fact his successor was an upgrade.
Since the Rays signed Kotchman to a minor league contract, you can wonder what they are up to with him.
IMO they would be crazy if they would let him go. He has proven himself a stable factor to the team.
In Dan Johnson, the Rays would have an immediate backup, but he can hardly be called an upgrade over Kotchman. At bat he only posted a .119 BA and he had a .994 fielding percentage.
In the farm system provides one valuable option: Stephen Vogt. But it would be a waste of his catching talent to let him play 1B.
In the games that Vogt played at first he (18 overall, 13 at Montgomery and 5 at Durham) he didn't commit any error.
Besides Stephen Vogt, the Rays don't have a good option to play first base, so they have to look for an FA or get a talent from another club and let him work his way through the minors. At the moment the future for that position looks quite bleak.