Cubs Sign Carlos Pena

Carlos Pena and the Cubs have officially agreed to terms on a one-year deal believed to be worth $10MM, half of which is deferred

Pena, 33 next May, saw his average slip below the Mendoza Line in 2010, totaling a line of .196/.325/.407. While the average and strikeout rate (32.6%) are concerns, Pena still managed to hit 28 home runs. That he managed a .325 OBP with a sub-.200 average speaks well to his plate discipline (14.9 BB%), and his average was deflated by a career-low .222 BABIP.  Pena was affected by plantar fasciitis during the season, from which he is now said to be recovered.

Earlier, it was believed that Pena and agent Scott Boras were looking for a two or three-year deal, which would have been unsurprising in what's shaping up to be a players' market.  However, one-year "pillow contract" will allow Pena to rebuild stock in the National League and enter a first base class that could be weak beyond Prince Fielder, if the Red Sox and Cardinals hammer out their rumored extensions with Adrian Gonzalez and Albert Pujols, respectively.  A strong 2011 will position Pena as the second-best first base option on the market.  This year, he drew interest from the Orioles, Nationals, Mariners, Braves, and Blue Jays as well as the Cubs.

MLB.com's Carrie Muskat first wrote that the deal was close, then later added the numbers via Twitter. Jon Heyman broke the news (via Twitter) that the two had agreed to terms.


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