Chicago Cubs News

Cubs Put Their Attention Back On Carlos Pena


You have got to love the hot stove season for Major League Baseball. Especially during the Winter Meetings, when bloggers like myself are constantly tracking down the latest rumor. Well, here is the latest on the Cubs search for a new first baseman.

Hours after the Cubs were reportedly trying to close a deal with free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs are meeting with Scott Boras tonight for the second time in as many nights to discuss free agent first baseman Carlos Pena. Levine joined the Afternoon Saloon on ESPN Radio 1000 this afternoon, and told Carmen, Harry, and Jurco that the Cubs top free agent target is in fact Carlos Pena, not Adam LaRoche.

In the latest report by Bruce Levine, he mentioned that Jim Hendry along with special adviser Greg Maddux met with Pena’s agent, Scott Boras, last night to discuss a possible deal for Carlos Pena. The two sides talked about a parameters of a deal, and Levine notes that Boras is looking for a two or three year deal for Carlos Pena. It is likely that when the two sides meet tonight, they will advance on the parameters that had been set at the first meeting.

Pena,33, is coming off of a interesting season to say the least. While he did have 28 home runs and 86 RBI’s, he also had a disappointing line as he hit .196/.325/.407 with 158 strikeouts. Another thing to be worried about is that Pena’s RBI’s, Average, and On Base Percentage have decreased in each of the past 4 seasons. However, Pena still remains a legitimate home run threat as he has been a prolific power hitter for the past few seasons. He also remains one of the top fielding first baseman in the league, and is recognized around baseball for having a good clubhouse presence.

I must admit that the thought of signing Carlos Pena to a two, or even three year contract would really scare me if I were the Chicago Cubs. Despite a report of Carlos Pena dealing with  plantar fasciitis all of last season, you still cannot ignore the fact that Pena’s numbers have dropped in some way or another in each of the past 4 seasons. However, I do think if Pena were to come to the Cubs, his numbers would revive by playing in the hitter-friendly Wrigley Field. I would be willing to go to two years if I were the Cubs, but you can forget anything above that.

Bruce Levine did touch on Adam LaRoche, but said that he is the backup plan if the Cubs cannot sign Carlo Pena. Of the two, it is tough to say who I would want, considering I’m not too enthusiastic about either of them. But, I would say considering his defensive abilities, Pena would be the better option.