Blog Entry

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:53 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 4:01 pm

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Moving to plug their hole at first base, the Cubs have agreed to terms with first baseman Carlos Pena on a one-year, $10 million deal that is expected to be announced Wednesday, sources with knowledge of the discussions said late Tuesday night.

Pena, part of Tampa Bay's surge toward the top of the AL East during the past three seasons, gives the Cubs the first baseman they need, the left-handed bat they desire and an excellent defender. Pena was awarded a Gold Glove in 2008.

A 10-year veteran, Pena over the past two seasons has become more of an all-or-nothing hitter. He slumped to a career-worst .196 batting average with a .325 on-base percentage over 144 games for the Rays in 2010, though he did hit 28 homers with 84 RBI.

He is just two seasons removed from a 39-homer, 100-RBI campaign, and in helping Tampa Bay to its first-ever World Series in 2007, Pena hit .282 with a career-high 46 home runs and 121 RBIs.

Among other things, the Cubs are hoping hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo can help Pena make more contact.

"Even if he hits .230 or .240," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "If he hits .240, that might take him to 40 Johnsons [homers].

"He's a good defensive player, he's good in the clubhouse, he's great in the community."

Looking to re-tool last season's highly disappointing club under new manager Mike Quade, the Cubs this winter need a first baseman and are planning to add pitching depth -- a starting or relief pitcher, whichever comes their way and makes the most sense.


Since: Sep 9, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2010 12:45 pm

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

$10 million for a guy who hit .196.

Hendry must have incriminating pictures of the Ricketts family. Why else do they still employ this moron?????

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 12:26 pm

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

Are the Cubs making moves to improve, or are they making moves just to make them. Seems like so far the Rickets bought themselves a baseball team so that they have somewhere to go to watch the rest of the National league come and play without having to buy a ticket. If you want to own a major league team you should be of the mind set that you are here to win. If not there are other ways to invest your money. Spending 10 million on a guy who can't hit his own weight is not going to get it done. Cubs fans should take a long hard look in the mirror and decide if they want to be the ones sitting next to the Rickets watching the rest of the National league play. 

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:40 am

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

If that's the case, would you rather A) sign Carlos Pena so that he can maybe build his trade value and sit Tyler Colvin on the bench, or B) play Tyler Colvin and facilitate his development? At some point, you have to step back from acquiring these players and actually develop the ones you have.

Since: Jun 22, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:32 am

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

Honestly I think jasonwedge has it right. Here's a guy who will come in, fill the need at first base, and get traded at the deadline for young guys. The cubs need young talent. you can't sign young talent. so what did the cubs do? they signed a guy they can trade for young talent. No sensible cubs fan expects Pena to take them to the World Series. All he does is fills a need until they can trade him. by then they're most likely out of the playoff race, and they can give Colvin time at 1st to see if he can play it.

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:20 am

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

Cubs sign Carlos Pena and the White Sox reup Paul Konerko for 3/$37.5MM. Both sides of town rejoice as our 1B needs are filled. One side is a little happier than the other.

BTW, save yourself the trouble, everyone knows Paulie wont repeat last year's numbers. I forsee .270 30 100, numbers I'd gladly accept from the captain.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:19 am

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

give the guy a chance...jesus. Everyone sat here last year and bashed the byrd signing, yet he had the best year of any cub. Tyler colvin will get more playing time this yyear, and Pena will bring his average back up to a 240 250 range...and hes capable of popping 35 plus HRs. Everyone on these boards are the best GMs in the land, yet have no jobs....the ricketts will spend money, and if we get the pitching help we need we will be ok. If ramirez bounces back, and colvin continues to develop, the offense will be good enough. theres still plenty of time to sign or a fan id love to see them more involved in the cliff lee race, or grienke. we also need someone to get the ball to marmol.

Since: Sep 24, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:15 am

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

1yr 10 mill???

They got the timeline right, but not the price.  Anyone who's numbers are declining and hits below the Mendoza line doesn't deserve that kind of salary, even if for only 1 year. I hope he earns it, but .196/  Good luck cubs

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:06 am

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

Just a few tidbits.

- In 2010, the Chicago Cubs had the highest average ticket price in the major leagues, higher than the Yankees and Red Sox (for fairness disclosure, White Sox were 4th)

- Additionally, they sold presale tickets at 15%-20% over face value. That ticket premium isn't included in the calculations of the already highest ticket prices.

- The Cubs (under Tribune ownership) routinely withheld premium tickets and distributed them to a team affiliated ticket broker down the street. This did not violate MLB policy as the ticket broker was a subsidiary under the Tribune umbrella and not directly under the Cubs. I don't know if the Ricketts still do this, but knowing the Cubs they probably have other shady dealings going on.

So yes, the Cubs can afford to give $10MM to a "power hitter" with a .196 batting average. Carlos is getting paid and getting laid.

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:05 am

Flubs Do It Again!

Soriano,Zambrano,Fukodome and now Pena. Hendry overpays for below average talent. Pena cannot get above the Mendoza line and he gets $10 million. What next? Bring back Marquis for $20 million? 

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:55 am

Cubs get their 1B: Carlos Pena

Pretty big $10mil gamble.  No matter what he did years ago, last year was still last year, an average below .200, even with the 28 HR is still not worth that kind of money.  They should have held out for maybe an incentive ladden $5mil one year deal that if he produces he'll get the $10mil.  Look at the outfield and that million dollar baby playing there, Chicago is where players go to simple get paid for doing nothing................This could be another version of that.

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