Tag:Carlos Pena
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:11 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 2:23 pm

Pena, Konerko land in Chicago

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 CBSSports.com'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 MLB.com 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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Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:59 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 4:37 pm

Reimold-Bartlett talks heating up

The Hot Stove isn't quite enough to keep us warm here in Mouseville, but nothing can help stoke the fire quite like a good ol' baseball trade.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets that the Orioles could send Nolan Reimold to Tampa Bay in return for Jason Bartlett.

Bartlett is obviously a fit for the shortstop-needy Orioles, while Reimold has played left field and first base, but would likely step in at first for the departed Carlos Pena.

Reimold was given the left field job out of spring training last year, but struggled, hitting .207/.282.328 with three home runs in 131 plate appearances. He then went to the minors, where he was moved to first. He hit .249/.364/.374 with 10 home runs for Triple-A Norfolk.

UPDATE: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times tweets it will take more than just Reimold to get the deal done.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

UPDATE : No deal will happen today -- if it happens at all, as MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli reports. The Rays want Alfredo Simon along with Reimold to ship out Bartlett, but that seems to have driven a wedge in talks.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: December 6, 2010 6:20 pm

A's and Iwakuma unlikely; Cubs want Pena

Pena News and notes from around the Winter Meetings, courtesy of CBSSports.com's Scott Miller...
  • Miller spoke to A's GM Billy Beane, who says the club has not spoken to pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma in the last 24 hours. The deadline is midnight, so it looks like Iwakuma will have to wait another year to come stateside.
  • Beane also said the club wants to sign someone from a group of DHs on the market. Hideki Matsui is a possibility, and Matsui has indicated he would like to play for Oakland.
  • While the Cubs were indeed talking about Adrian Gonzalez with the Padres, nothing was ever close. The White Sox and Mariners, however, were "in hard" but Boston won out -- obviously.
  • Lastly, the Cubs need a first baseman and some pitching. A source tells Miller it could be either a starter or reliever. Carlos Pena (pictured) would be an ideal solution at first, but his price tag may be too high courtesy of agent Scott Boras, so will adopt a wait and see stance.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 3:29 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:52 am

First base market dwindling

Carlos Pena The Toronto Blue Jays are making a rush at Carlos Pena, ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes tweets .

The Jays wouldn't want to be left out in the musical chairs of the first base market.  Assuming the White Sox lock up Paul Konerko, the Jays, along with the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Nationals all need first basemen, with Pena the prettiest girl at the ball.

What does it say that a guy who hit .196 is the best option left? Well, it says Adam LaRoche, Russell Branyan and Lyle Overbay are the next-best options.

In searching for first basemen, many teams are calling the Reds about Yonder Alonso, Yahoo!'s Tim Brown writes . However, with Joey Votto three years from free agency and a reluctance to sign long-term, the Reds are reluctant to move their No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft.

UPDATE: As for Alonso, here's what Reds general manager Walt Jocketty had to say to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon : "I think right now, Yonder is a guy that still figures in the organization," Jocketty said. "It gives us protection. He believes that he's working this winter to come in and compete for a spot on the bench next year to play some first and left field and be a left-handed hitter off the bench."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 28, 2010 4:08 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2010 4:12 pm

Cubs interested in Pena, Berkman

Carlos Pena The Cubs are looking for a first baseman, but appear to be targeting the second-tier to Adam Dunn, including Carlos Pena and Lance Berkman, FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi writes .

Pena, a Scott Boras client, may be looking for just a one-year deal to re-establish his value after his 2010 below the Mendoza line. Although Pena hit 28 home runs and had 84 RBI, he hit just .196/.325/.407.

Pena, 32, was not offered arbitration after he hit $10.125 million last season in Tampa.

The Cubs don't have a left-handed power bat on their roster, and Pena would certainly benefit by playing half his games at Wrigley Field. He is also a good defensive first baseman.

Berkman, a switch-hitter, hit .248/.368/.413 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI with the Astros and Yankees. Berkman, who will be 35 next season, hit all but one of his home runs as a left-handed batter in 2010. Berkman has struggled in his career at Wrigley, where he's hit just .220/.355/.384 with 11 home runs in 327 plate appearances.

Although Dunn has reportedly lobbied to play for the Cubs, he doesn't appear to be within their budget.

If the Cubs don't sign a first baseman, outfielder Tyler Colvin could move there.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:56 am
Edited on: October 8, 2010 3:00 pm

R.I.P. Nationals: Strasburg goes down to injury

RIP As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Remember Strasmas? Well, the Washington Nationals got some coal.

It's not often a team with 90-plus losses has something to look forward to, but the Nationals sure do: 2011 being over.

You see, when 2012 opens, the Nationals will have phenom ace Stephen Strasburg fully healthy, likely with a few late-season 2011 rehab starts under his belt and a young team ready to go after the division.

Until then? More losing in the nation's capital.


The team lost 93 games. A lot went wrong. The most notable, as is to no one's surprise, is Stephen Strasburg getting knocked out for about a year with Tommy John surgery. Of course, if Rob Dibble had his way, Strasburg would probably have pitched every remaining game of the Nats after first suffering the injury.

Now that the obligatory Dibble insult is out of the way, what else went wrong? Ivan Rodriguez, Adam Kennedy and Cristian Guzman all struggled with OPS' south of .700, dragging down the Nats' offense. On the pitching side, only Livan Hernandez and Strasburg had ERAs under 4.00. The other five who received at least 13 starts? 4.65 (John Lannan), 5.13 (Craig Stammen), 5.15 (Luis Atilano), 5.56 (Scott Olsen) and 6.60 (Jason Marquis). Yikes.

Unfortunately, the GM in Mike Rizzo is responsible for a colossal mistake in not trading Adam Dunn. Many teams were hot to trot over the lefty, with even the White Sox striking to acquire Edwin Jackson because it was thought the Nats were interested in the starter. No trade was achieved because Rizzo felt that the offers weren't commensurate with what he could get in compensation draft picks. Alas, there is no guarantee the Nats end up with a first-rounder, and it is a large step to say that someone yet to be drafted holds that much value over someone in the system, already signed, with the bonus out of the way.

Stephen Strasburg WHAT WENT RIGHT

Although Strasburg's (photo, right) injury definitely belongs in the "wrong" column, it also belongs in the "right" one as well. Why? Because Strasburg zipped through the minors and unveiled a filthy arsenal once he hit the majors with a fastball sniffing 100 and an absolutely devastating arsenal of breaking pitches. Washington has a Cy Young contender for years.

If Strasburg is looking for hope to return from TJ surgery, he can check out Jordan Zimmermann, who made 10 rehab starts in the minors after going under the knife last season. He made seven starts down the stretch and showed enough that the potential he displayed when he first came up is still there.

The Nats astutely picked up closer Matt Capps for a bargain in free agency, saw him excel as a closer and flipped him for the catcher of the future in Wilson Ramos -- all while promoting their own stud prospect reliever in Drew Storen, who proved he can close for years to come. Speaking of the bullpen, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett pretty much came from nowhere to establish what should be a nice bullpen for the Nats in 2011. Miguel Batista, a veteran journeyman, also had what figures to be his last quality year.

Mike Morse, a Quad-A player, pounded 15 home runs in 266 at-bats, and the Nats may have suddenly found a new power-hitter which will ease the sting of the eventual loss of Adam Dunn.

Lastly, no "what went right" selection is complete without the ageless Livan Hernandez, who improbably finished with a 3.66 ERA, tossing 211 2/3 innings at 35. Swan song? Probably, given he stumbled in the second half. Still awesome.


The Nationals already promoted Storen and Ramos, so they technically don't belong here, but bear with me. The 22-year-old Storen, as previously mentioned, is Washington's closer of the future while Ramos figures to split time with Pudge behind the dish in 2011. There's another catcher actually on the way as well in Jesus Flores, a Rule 5 pick all the way back in 2007.

Unfortunately, Flores missed all of 2010 and most of 2009 due to injury, but he could eventually give the Nats an incredible tandem in Flores and Ramos. And the team has a top catching prospect down on the farm in Derek Norris. Now that's depth. (But ask the Rangers how much their vaunted catching depth worked out for them this season.)

Danny Espinosa also saw late-season action for the Nats, but impressed along with fellow preseason top prospect Ian Desmond, who manned short. Espinosa will slot in at second and give the Nats an exciting, young double play combo.

The Nats have reached the point where they can tentatively start expecting to contend. That means a 90-loss season won't be accepted in 2011 and would certainly spell the demise of skipper Jim Riggleman, even sans Strasburg. Although the free-agent machinations of the team (especially to replace Dunn) will go along way towards managing expectations.

The team won't harbor any illusions that the squad can finish .500, even if Dunn returns, but finishing in the neighborhood of 77-85 figures to be the goal behind the scenes.


The Nationals seem pretty set on moving on from Adam Dunn (photo, right) due to his horrendous defense and skyrocketing contract. One player the Nats may want to peek at is Carlos Pena, coming off a year where he hit below the Mendoza Line. He has proven, however, that he can hit significantly better than that. (His career average is .241 -- wouldn't exactly call that good, but a darn sight better than .196.) And the power is certainly still there, something Washington needs. Pena is also gifted with the glove. So let's see: down season making him cheap, power and a good glove. Works for me.

The team also needs to figure out its rotation. Right now, Hernandez, Zimmermann, Lannan and Marquis figure to take up the first four spots. Stammen and Atilano could fight for the No. 5 spot but the team could really use a solid free-agent option who is long on leadership but a little long in the tooth as well to depress his price. What the Nats need to do is avoid multi-year deals, though -- there wasn't ever any reason to hand Marquis two years, and there won't be a reason to hand someone like Kevin Millwood two years. Stick to one year deals around $6-8 million, and the Nats can find someone just fine.


While Rizzo seems like a solid general manager, his track record is less than stellar. Combine that with the loss of Strasburg, and the Nationals seem headed to another 90-loss season in 2011. Check back in 2012, though.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:27 pm

Nationals not interested in bringing Dunn back

Adam Dunn The Nationals don't have much interest in bringing back Adam Dunn, as Ben Goessling of MASN Sports reports.

Dunn is one of the best sluggers in the game, but at age 30 and with highly questionable defense, GM Mike Rizzo and others aren't prepared to hand Dunn the four-year deal he is seeking.

"He costs them half a run a game," a scout told Goessling. "You're involved in so many plays -- pickoffs, scoops in the dirt, fielding plays -- it's worse than it looks on paper."

Apparently enough to the point where 37 home runs is freezing Dunn out of Washington and perhaps even the NL, much to his chagrin. Dunn has made it clear he has no interest in DHing but may not have a choice any longer.

While Dunn has expressed a willingness to accept three years to stay in town, all indications are that even three years won't work for Rizzo, despite owner Mark Lerner's infatuation with Dunn and his similarities to boyhood idol Frank Howard .

"I can tell you the only person in the front office who wants to resign him is the owner," the scout added.

Perhaps the owner's infatuation with Dunn played a part in the exorbitant trade price Rizzo asked for the slugger at the trade deadline. Goessling notes that the lefty was not traded because the packages offered weren't better than the two draft picks Washington will receive if Dunn leaves in free agency.

Of course, that's a risk as well -- the Jays ended up with a third-round pick for A.J. Burnett thanks to the Yankees also signing CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.

One name Goessling throws out that the Nats may pursue makes sense: Carlos Pena. Pena is a legitimate home-run hitter, even as he struggles to lift his batting average over the Mendoza Line. His down season could make him available to Washington at a discount.

Despite the off year, Pena's .241 career average is not that far from Dunn's .251, although Pena loses the battle when it comes to on-base percentage. Where he wins, however, and where he makes up the separation in value in spads from Dunn, is on defense where he is regarded as a first baseman that can pick it.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed
Category: MLB
Posted on: September 10, 2010 10:50 am

Power will be priority for A's

Coco Crisp
How many times have we heard that a team is "a bat or two away" from contending? The A's think they really are, and finding players with power will be their top priority this winter, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The A's have by far the best ERA in the American League (3.55) and are a little below average in batting for average and getting on base (ninth in both). Where they fall clearly short is power. No team in baseball has hit fewer home runs, and they are second-worst in slugging percentage. Their top home run hitter, Kevin Kouzmanoff, has just 14. Their starters at first base, third base and designated hitter have combined for 32. No matter how well they pitch, that's not going to cut it.

"The game is changing. There aren't guys who can hit 50 homers, but you still have to have two guys in the lineup who are threats to hit the ball out of the ballpark," second baseman Mark Ellis said. "That would make everyone else better, too. But they're not easy to find."

General manager Billy Beane says he'll be looking, and Beane will have a little money to work with as $22 million comes off the books with Ben Sheets and Eric Chavez.

Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Carlos Pena, Jayson Werth and possibly David Ortiz (who has a club option) will be among the power hitters available this winter.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com