December 09, 2010

Cubs sign Carlos Pena

The Cubs signed former Tampa Bay 1b Carlos Pena to a one year, $10 million dollar contract ($5 million is deferred to next season). At first I was against this deal but the more I think about it, the more I like it. Let's make a list of Pros and Cons, Halpert-style:


  • $10 million is a lot of money for a team that is trying to slash payroll and isn't going anywhere in 2011.
  • The Cubs had much cheaper left-handed 1b options in Bryan LaHair and possibly Tyler Colvin
  • Pena turns 33 next year and could be on the decline. His injury last year does throw things off a little though. Scouts have always loved him, but he was a late bloomer.
  • Pena is useless against LHP

  • Pena is prime for a bounceback season after suffering from plantar fasciitis last season, especially moving out of the AL east and into the weaker league.
  • Pena brings a good glove to 1b, and one of the Cubs priorities this season was to get a good receiver for the still raw Starlin Castro to throw to.
  • It only costs money - the Cubs didn't unload any prospects to pick up a guy like Fielder, Gonzalez, or (ugh) Chris Davis in a trade.
  • Speaking of prospects, with the Cubs unlikely to contend next year they can flip Pena for some prospects if he regresses back to something more like his numbers from the previous 3 seasons.
  • Most importantly, the length of the contract. At least one of Pujols and Fielder (if not both) should hit the market next year, and both the Yankees and Red Sox are already locked up at 1b. This leaves the Cubs, with a few contracts coming off the books, in prime position to chase one of those franchise players.