Blog Entry

Pena, Konerko land in Chicago

Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:11 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 2:23 pm
Pena Both Chicago squads solidified their first-base solutions Wednesday. The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Carlos Pena (pictured), while Paul Konerko has landed back with the White Sox as's Scott Miller reports.

Pena inked a one-year, $10 million deal aimed at rehabilitating his value after hitting just .196 while whiffing 158 times. He did add 87 walks and 28 home runs, so he wasn't a complete liability at the plate. However, it's a far cry from his .282 batting average in 2007 or even .247 in 2008. The batting average drop trend continued in 2009 with a .227 mark, so Pena has a lot of work on his hands to drive that batting average up.

For the Cubs' side, it represents a low-risk, high-reward deal that adds a slugger to the middle of the order as the Cubs attempt to retool their club on the fly.

The White Sox, meanwhile, have a three-year, $37.5 million deal in place for Konerko that returns him to the South Side. Konerko will pair with Adam Dunn at first base and DH and give the ChiSox a middle of the order to be reckoned with.

The Nationals were hoping to reel Pena into town, but now that it's no longer an option, Washington is turning its focus to Adam LaRoche as reports.

"In the next few days, we are going to start some conversations with the Nationals," LaRoche said Monday. "If we come on the same page, I would definitely have interest in playing for them."

LaRoche hit .261/.320/.468 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI, which represents the best RBI totals of his career by far although he didn't go on his second-half rampage as per usual. If the Nats opt not to bring LaRoche into the fold, the club could look internally with displaced right fielder Mike Morse having a shot at the gig.

-- Evan Brunell

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