Carlos Pena Appears To Top The Cubs Wish List

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While the Chicago Cubs do not appear to be making a move any time soon for their next first baseman, the general consensus is that if the Cubs do not trade for Adrian Gonzalez, which is likely, they will likely sign a mid-tier left handed first baseman. Of late, Lance Berkman has been the hot name for the Cubs first base vacancy, however, the Cubs only want Berkman at their price. Meaning, if another team like the Athletics outbid the Cubs, the Cubs will look in a different direction. However the Cubs direction may already be turned away from Lance Berkman, and onto Rays free agent first baseman Carlos Pena.

As, Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald reports that the name that he keeps hearing in association with the Cubs first base vacancy is Carlos Pena. However, Miles mentions that their are other names the Cubs are looking at, and they do not appear to be on the verge of any deal at this time. Miles points out that the Cubs may have Pena ahead of both Adam LaRoche, and Lance Berkman on their list of targets.

While, Pena’s hitting line was down in 201o at .196/.325/.407, he still managed to hit 28 home runs and drive in 84 runs. Before this season, Pena had a stretch of three straight seasons with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s in each. Despite the low average, Pena was only two home runs shy this season of another 30 home run year.  Pena’s abilities go far beyond his power on offense, as he is one of the better fielding first basemen in the league. He also is a great player on and off the field. Meaning he would fit right in with the Cubs, as Marlon Byrd is essentially the same way.

Considering that Adam Dunn is viewed as the best first baseman available, it will probably take awhile for the market to develop for Pena. As it stands now, the Cubs are only team to have a strong interest in him. The Nationals may have interest in him, if they do not sign Adam Dunn. The same can be said for the Chicago White Sox. In the end, Pena will likely end up with a one year deal worth around $6MM or 7MM. Keep in mind his agent is Scott Boras, who is not afraid allow his clients to take a one year deal in order to rebuild their stock.

From a financial standpoint, Adrian Gonzalez not included, Pena is probably the best option for the Cubs. Because it matters what the Cubs prioritize as a requirement for their next first baseman. If the Cubs want an above average fielder for first base, they will probably make a run for Carlos Pena. However, if they want more of an all around offensive player, Lance Berkman might be the best option for them. In the end, the Cubs will probably go the defensive route and target Carlos Pena.