Chicago Cubs fans will get a chance to see Lance Berkman next season, as a member of the St Louis Cardinals. The St Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed Lance Berkman to a one year deal worth $8MM. Obviously Berkman is not going to play first base with the Cardinals, in fact, he is going to play Left Field for the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals intend to move Matt Holliday to right field, to make room for Berkman in Left Field.
To be honest, I did not see this move happening. Because, I thought if the Cubs were going to lose out on Berkman, it would have been to the Colorado Rockies or Oakland Athletics. The Cardinals are not a particularly good fit for Berkman. Considering his injury history, you have to think that Berkman will not be able to hold up in the outfield for an entire season.
With Berkman now in St Louis, you would have to think that the Cubs will try to sign Carlos Pena as soon as possible. While the Cubs appear to be on the verge of getting Chris Davis, he would be more of an addition to the bench adding some left handed pop. Meanwhile, Carlos Pena based off his power, fielding, and leadership qualities is a fit with the Chicago Cubs. The thing that concerns me the most about Pena is his poor average. In 2010, Pena hit .196 and for his career he is hitting .241. But, like I mentioned before, Pena does have tremendous power. Over the past four seasons Pena has averaged about 36 home runs in each with about 102 RBI’s. To be completely honest, Pena is a better fielding version of Adam Dunn.
Considering that Lance Berkman got $8MM, it is safe to say that Pena will get about same from the Cubs, or another team that is interested in him. Given that Adrian Gonzalez is in Boston, and Albert Pujols will probably remain in St Louis the Cubs may be willing to give Pena a two year contract. I would expect the Cubs to act fast on signing Pena, considering their options are dwindling down.