Cubs Interested In Carlos Pena

The Cubs enjoyed Derrek Lee's stellar defense for more than six seasons, and now they're showing interest in another strong defender at first. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears from a source that the Cubbies are interested in Carlos Pena, whose power could fit in well with Wrigley Field. 

Pena, 32, hit just .196/.325/.407 in 582 plate appearances this season, though he still hit 28 homers and walked 87 times. His left-handed pop would be a welcome addition to a righty heavy lineup, and Morosi notes that Pena might be looking to re-establish his value on a one-year contract similar to what fellow Scott Boras client Adrian Beltre did in 2010.

The Cubs expressed some interest in Lance Berkman earlier this week.


69 Responses to Cubs Interested In Carlos Pena Leave a Reply

  1. mrmoss 5 years ago

    Pena and Soriano in the same lineup..no need to throw strikes

    • Pena will take the walk. Soriano won’t.

    • Anthony Hoffman 5 years ago

      Pena will save as many runs with his gloves as he drives in. Plus, he’ll walk more and see lots of right-handed pitching in the NL Central.

      • mrmoss 5 years ago

        He will also hit below the mendoza line with 150 K’s…i hope the Cubs do sign Pena

        • If you think that’s all Pena can do, you should work on your analysis.

        • If you think that’s all Pena can do, you should work on your analysis.

        • Like the comment above me, I’m loving your analysis. Pena is a valuable asset and would benefit greatly from a move to the NL Central, and in Wrigley I could see him hitting 35 big flies with a .250 avg and .350 OBP with stellar D.

      • xhausted_grad 5 years ago

        there is no way pena saves close to 90-100 runs per year with his glove. and why would he walk more? the rays emphasize patience at the plate. he would be getting paid to hit homeruns and ground into 6-4-3’s.

        • IndianaBob 5 years ago

          He will be 33 next year and his UZR per 150 innings the last 3 years has been 7/-6.1/-3.7. I don’t think you can expect him to be more than an average 1B at best.

          • moonraker45 5 years ago

            using uzr to judge 1b is awesome

  2. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    Pena would be a good fit. Can’t see them being desperate enough to offer more than 1 year, seeing as how the first base market is still huge. 1/$4m with incentives seems fair.

  3. If Pena goes to the Cubs, does this mean Adam Dunn is the favorite to stay with the Nationals?

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      Last I saw on here, the Nats don’t want Dunn anymore.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        Pretty safe to say they’d take him back in a heartbeat.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        Pretty safe to say they’d take him back in a heartbeat.

      • It’s not that the Nationals don’t want Dunn, it’s just that they aren’t willing to pay the price he’s asking for, which he will probably get on another team.

      • It’s not that the Nationals don’t want Dunn, it’s just that they aren’t willing to pay the price he’s asking for, which he will probably get on another team.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      Last I saw on here, the Nats don’t want Dunn anymore.

  4. If Pena goes to the Cubs, does this mean Adam Dunn is the favorite to stay with the Nationals?

  5. Twins45 5 years ago

    Twins will trade you Cuddyer.

  6. If this happens Hendry might finally get fired. I am all for it.

    • Steve B 5 years ago

      Why would Pena, or anyone else want to sign with the Cubs? They’re a “suckfest”!

      • Gocubs2010 5 years ago

        Great comment, Reply when you come up with something better.

    • Steve B 5 years ago

      Why would Pena, or anyone else want to sign with the Cubs? They’re a “suckfest”!

    • Yea, Hendry would get fired for signing a defensively great, big power first baseman who had a down year. Good job at not knowing baseball.

    • Yea, Hendry would get fired for signing a defensively great, big power first baseman who had a down year. Good job at not knowing baseball.

    • How would this directly cause Hendry to get fired in any way at all? Even if he were to have a terrible year, it wouldn’t be a fireable offense.

    • How would this directly cause Hendry to get fired in any way at all? Even if he were to have a terrible year, it wouldn’t be a fireable offense.

    • roberty 5 years ago

      I guess it depends on the terms of the contract. If it is reasonable I see no reason why Hendry would be fired for signing Carlos Pena, even if her performs poorly, after so many blunderous signings and extensions. If Hendry grossly overpays for Pena and gives him some kind of long term deal I guess it could happen. But I don’t see the market for Pena being very competitive.

  7. If this happens Hendry might finally get fired. I am all for it.

  8. This would be a good fit on the Cubs, but I don’t see why to spend the cash. They will need well more than him to compete, so why not allocate the expenses towards the draft or building towards the future in other means?

  9. aaron b 5 years ago

    Dunn is just sitting there to be had. How can the cubs possibly screw this up?

    • jb226 5 years ago

      Dunn’s bat would be huuuuuge at 1B for the Cubs.

      But his defense… urgh. And not just in a vacuum; not only will he likely cost you runs on plays he should have made, but he won’t save you runs the way Pena would or Lee did — and with the wild throws from a lot of the Cubs infielders, that’s a much bigger deal than it would seem.

      I’m not saying Dunn wouldn’t be a net positive — his bat is too valuable for that. What I am saying is that I think Pena could provide similar power and OBP skills (with a lower batting average of course) while still playing solid defense. And that he’s likely to sign for one year or maybe one and an option, and relatively cheap — unlike Dunn. The Cubs’ main focus should be on the bullpen, so if they can save some money, get better defense and solid power from Pena I am all for it.

      • aaron b 5 years ago

        Pena’s defensive metrics weren’t much better than Dunns at First this year. He is a strong defender in reputation only at this point.

        Bullpens tend to be extremely volatile from year to year. Paying top market rate for mid relief is how you end up with multiple Years of Stevie Ire, Bob Howry and Jane Grabow.

        We’ve got literally a dozen MLB ready arms in AA and AAA. Yet not a single big bat anywhere. On the horizon.

        I’d rather take a slight defensive downgrade to plug a gaping lineup void than cast our lot with another 7th place hitter and revisiting this same First Base situation in 12 months.

        If you can plug an organizational hole now. I think you need to do it.

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        Totally agree. I think Pena, if he can bounce back a little offensively provides the better value overall. And his experience and soft hands as a first baseman will be important for Castro.

    • Anthony Hoffman 5 years ago

      Dunn was the worst 1st baseman in the NL and he’s asking for too much.

      • aaron b 5 years ago

        Not sure where you are getting that? He was a bad fielding LFer. But that isn’t an issue at First. According the the fangraphs metrics, Dunn is just a tick below Pena as a fielder. Closer to middle of the pack.

        link to fangraphs.com

  10. jodydavis7 5 years ago

    Why would the Twins trade Cuddyer? He is cheaper and they did just fine without Morneau in the middle of the order. Twins should trade Morneau to the Cubs along with Alexi Casilla and all would be ok!! One can dream can’t he?

    • roberty 5 years ago

      The Twins would trade Cuddyer because he is owed $10 million in 2011, and he is a free agent after that. The Twins probably couldn’t afford to sign him long term, and definitely don’t have to considering the very talented outfield prospects they have moving through their system. This would be the time to trade the guy and pick up some young pitching prospects to help in the future.

  11. crunchy1 5 years ago

    This would be a good signing. Pena is due to rebound a bit. He had a terrible BABIP last year. He’s never going to hit for high average but if he can hit .240, with a good OBP, 35 dingers and solid defense, it’ll be a nice addition. I’m all for this move on a short term deal.

    • timlinCYecum55 5 years ago

      Those are some big ifs my friend. His offensive numbers have steadily dropped in every statistical category each year for the past 4 seasons. The only exception being his 39HR in 2009. Although it’s possible for him to put up the numbers you suggested, I think 25-30HR, 80-90RBI, and .210/.300 would be a more reasonable expectation. Decent numbers, and when you take his excellent defense into consideration, certainly worthy of a short term contract. Cubs fans seem to want Dunn, but I think Pena would make more sense.

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        The HRs will be there. He did have 39 last year. The OBP was .325, so there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to repeat that, and we know the defense will be there. The only real if is the batting average and with a .222 BABIP last year and joining the NL, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll get a nice bump next year.

        For what it’s worth Bill James has him projected at .222/.354/.474 with 30 Hrs. I’d take that in a heartbeat on a short term, incentive laden deal.

        • crunchy1 5 years ago

          * oops…I meant 39 homers 2 years ago. He also had a .356 OBP that year. I guess it depends on how you view it. Either he’s slipping or he just had an off year. I’m hoping it’s the latter.

  12. Corms 5 years ago

    Pena or Berkman would be fine on a one year rebuild your value contract. If htey bounce back they can be flipped at the trade deadline, if not it doesn’t matter because the Cubs aren’t contending in 2011 anyway. Dunn would be a bad move because you’d be locking him in at first base for multiple years when a bigger splash could be made next off season when the 1st base free agent class looks to be stacked. The Cubs have a solid farm system now with some good prospects coming up over the next couple of years along with a lot of money coming off the books over the next two years. They need to be looking at 2013 and determining how they can use their two assets, prospects and money, to open a window starting then.

    • aaron b 5 years ago

      Cubs have a 140 million dollar payroll and need to build for 2013? You have obviously never worked in a results based business.

      • Corms 5 years ago

        You obviously prefer to ignore the reality of the Cubs current situation and instead prefer make broad general assertions.

        • aaron b 5 years ago

          The Cubs have shown the ability to outspend everyone else in the division by 40-50 million dollars. There is absolutely NO excuse to punt 3 seasons just for kicks?

          What exactly happens in 2013 that makes it a window? Who are the studs in the pipeline that will lead us to a title? Far too much backlash would occur from the fanbase for this to be a reality.

          • Corms 5 years ago

            There’s a correlation between payroll and winning, but there’s no causation between payroll and winning. The causation of winning is talent and while the Cubs will have a 2011 payroll between $130 and $140 million they won’t have $130 to $140 million worth of talent. They have $101 million committed to 9 players already under contract for 2011. Throw in sizable arbitration raises to Marmol, Soto, and Marshall and you’re looking at most $20-$30 million left over to fill out 13 roster spots. And with that $20-$30, at most, million left over to fill 13 roster spots you also need to raise the talent level of a 75 win team to around 90 to be legitimate contenders. That means you’re going to have to add wins at a cost of between 1 and 2 million per win while the cost for wins on the open market is about $4.5 million per win. Adding players to try to do that this year is like going all in to try to get the straight when you’ve been dealt the 3 and the 7. It could happen, but the odds are overwhelming that you’re just handicapping your self in the future.

            I didn’t say anything about punting 3 seasons just for kicks, I said you build toward 2013, that means your looking past 2 seasons. And it’s not just for kicks, it’s to put yourself in a position where you can actually contend instead of hoping that everything breaks right.

            What happens in 2013 to open a window? Nothing. What opens the window is the $35 million or so that comes off the books each of the next two off seasons. You start using that money next off season on guys that will offer you contributions in 2013 and beyond that are commensurate with the free agent contracts you sign them to. The window to contends opens in 2013 because you’ve had two off seasons during which you’ve been able to add a combined $60 million or so worth of talent ($70 million combined comes off the books but some of that guys to guys getting raises through arbitration the next couple of years).

            Again you put words in my mouth by saying, “Who are the studs in the pipeline that will lead us to a title?” I never said that we had studs in the pipeline that will lead us to the title. I said that we have good prospects coming up that combined with a lot of money coming off the books over the next two years can open a window to contend. The Cubs have some good talent coming up, or in the case of Castro guys who have just got up, who don’t need to be studs, they need some of the many to being able to provide good production while cost controlled so that the team can use it’s money on the real difference makers.

        • aaron b 5 years ago

          The Cubs have shown the ability to outspend everyone else in the division by 40-50 million dollars. There is absolutely NO excuse to punt 3 seasons just for kicks?

          What exactly happens in 2013 that makes it a window? Who are the studs in the pipeline that will lead us to a title? Far too much backlash would occur from the fanbase for this to be a reality.

  13. Guest 5 years ago

    Rather see Cubs get Adam LaRoche.

  14. Gurvir Nijjar 5 years ago

    pena will sign with the blue jays

  15. Pena seems to be about the best Cub fans can hope for at 1b. Dunn is likely too expensive and though it’s not out of the question dealing for AGon or Fielder isn’t likely to happen. Pena worries me, at his age we could be seeing the start of his decline phase. He’s worth taking a flyer on though definitely, a one year deal would be terrific. If he can bounce back from his poor 2010 and also get a bump with the move to the NL it could turn out to be a really good signing, similar to Beltre.

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      I agree. If I thought the Cubs were sure fire contenders next year and in the next couple of years, then I think Dunn is worth the gamble. There’s too many question marks now to make that sort of investment, in my opinion.

  16. firealyellon 5 years ago

    Pena would be a buy low move for Hendry…not his style.

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      But it IS Rickett’s style. And it’s his money.

  17. txftw 5 years ago

    A pretty good fit, considering he’ll hit 5th or 6th and not be counted on too much. The defense is always a plus too.

  18. the key is a 1 year deal, this year will more than likely be a bust, so save some money and go after A-Gon next year.

  19. Gocubs2010 5 years ago

    Being a cubs fan Pena isn’t the worst thing ever I just don’t want him, Colvin can play 1st or Aramis can move to 1st and it will save him some injuries and we have plenty of minor leaguers like Vitters and Jackson that are ready to play at 1st or 3rd and OF respectively.

  20. Vitters isn’t ready for the majors yet, and i believe Colvin and Aramis have never played first base either. So i say take the flyer on Pena on a 1-year incentive deal and try to trade Kosuke somewhere. Then if the cubs have money to spend try to find a starter or relief pitching and maybe a better starter at 2nd or backup at 2nd base.

  21. CommissionerBart 5 years ago

    He’d be smart to sign with the Cubs…..Nationals fans are in revolt at the idea of Pena replacing Dunn. And though they’re usually a gentlemanly lot, it is clear they will make Pena in particular feel unwelcome.

    No disrespect to Pena’s power and defense….but if Dunn departs, as it appears he will due to our boneheaded GM (the Peter Prinicple perfectly illustrated–he should never have been promoted beyond scouting to his level of incompetence in a business structure–fans are not going to accept Pena’s recent .196 average…..Nats have no stars except Zim and Dunn….noone to excite the fanbase.

  22. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    Seems like there’s lots of jockeying starting up. I’m sure guys like Pena will be used to try and get Dunn down on his contract requests.

    Dunn would be great at Wrigley…no doubt. The number of yuppies and frat boys he’d kill on the buildings across Sheffield would be astonishing….if not warranted.

    • aaron b 5 years ago

      That is what I’m suspecting as well. First the Berkman rumors. Now the Pena rumors. If Dunn is really serious about wanting to stay in the NL and be on a winner. I think he almost certainly goes to the Cubs. I’d think 3/36 ultimately gets it done.

      If his glove ends up being unbearable, or you end up with Agonz next year. You can still unload Dunn on an AL team.

      • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

        If he truly is serious about staying in the NL then the Cubs make total sense. He typically mashes at Wrigley….and foremost….the cubs seem willing to spend.

        I’m sure the White Sox are in on him in the AL as well. Problem there would be Konerko’s status. Time splits…etc. He certainly would be the prized lefty power bat they seek.

        I can’t even speculate on money and years. That’s just not information most are privy to.

        The Cubs just make too much sense. You’d think they’d have to really botch the negotiations not to come out with dunn at 1B in 2011.

      • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

        If he truly is serious about staying in the NL then the Cubs make total sense. He typically mashes at Wrigley….and foremost….the cubs seem willing to spend.

        I’m sure the White Sox are in on him in the AL as well. Problem there would be Konerko’s status. Time splits…etc. He certainly would be the prized lefty power bat they seek.

        I can’t even speculate on money and years. That’s just not information most are privy to.

        The Cubs just make too much sense. You’d think they’d have to really botch the negotiations not to come out with dunn at 1B in 2011.

  23. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    Sometimes I wonder just how teams such as the Cubs/RedSox/Yankees set their budget. They seem to be the teams where player payroll is relatively irrelevent. At what number do the likes of Steinbrenner really start crapping themselves?

  24. chaifetz10 5 years ago

    TWSS.

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