Blog Entry

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

Posted on: July 25, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 12:27 pm
By Matt Snyder

Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena makes a lot of sense as a potential trade candidate. He's playing with a one-year contract and could provide some serious pop from the left side of the plate. He also plays sound defense at first base, so any contender looking for some offensive punch could use him.

Thus, the tweet from Jon Heyman of Monday, saying Pena will "almost surely" be traded, shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Of course, this was only one day after a story in the Chicago Sun-Times that said there was a mutual interest between Pena and the Cubs for him to stick around past this season. So, with all things we hear this week, everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. No general managers are actually letting their full plans publicly known, so it's a bit of a guessing game.

For speculation's sake, let's mull this from the point of view that Pena is definitely getting traded. Two teams immediately come to mind as good fits for Pena: The Diamondbacks (as Heyman mentioned) and the Pirates. Asking prices and who pays Pena's remaining salary -- he's on a one-year, $10 million deal and we're a bit past halfway through the season -- will determine everything, but those two ballclubs could use a power bat at first base immediately.

Pena, 33, is hitting .221 with a .334 on-base percentage, 20 home runs and 51 RBI. He actually didn't hit his first homer until May 3, though, so he's been hot since -- with 20 homers, 45 RBI and an .870 OPS in his last 247 at- bats.

Putting him in the cleanup spot for the Pirates to protect Andrew McCutchen -- who makes more sense hitting third -- would give the offense a whole new look. Neil Walker could then bat second or fifth. Either way, it's much improved. The D-Backs would be in a similar situation, as they could plug Pena between Justin Upton and Chris Young.

For now, though, all we can do is speculate. It's that time of the season.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 4:39 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 11:32 am
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Since: Nov 19, 2009
Posted on: July 26, 2011 7:10 am

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

Lyle "doubleplay" Overpay and Pena are on completely different trajectories and Pena co Es with more bonafides and a more feel good history. I'm not calling Pena a longterm solution at first base, even if we could resign him, but given what we have going on this year he could absolutely help. Just consider these stats, Pena's FB% vs Overbay's, Pena's OPS, especially discounting April and the first two weeks of May, and Pena's BABIP. Compared to Overbay Pena looks like a freaking all-star. Of course I'm still not convinced we couldn't just hope for the best once Tabata comes back with him and Pressely as corner outfielders and pushing GI Jones into service at first, but I'd much rather see a player with Pena's power somewhere in the mix. Plus I doubt we can count on a rookie bat, all be it a hot one, carrying us through the September stretch and, hopefully! Knock-on-wood (and if it's Brandon Wood make sure you knock him out), through the postseason. Either way, comparing Pena to Overbay is a huge insult to Pena

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: July 26, 2011 12:08 am

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

You're going to need $40 mil times 5 to sign Fielder. The Cubs signing Fielder long term will hamstring the club for another 10 years. Plus the owner is too leveraged to take on big money contracts through free agency. Ricketts might become the McCourt of the midwest if he plays too loose with the money. Besides, the fans are still filling the stadium, so there is no incentive to spend on putting a winning product on the field.

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:02 pm

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

Hows this trade sound Fielder to the Cubs for Rameriz and Pena. with the brewers paying both contract and the cubs taking Fielder's.  I know this would help the Brewers more than people would think. We get a third baseman with power and a year left on his contract a first base for the rest of the year that we can let walk or sign back.  I am a brewer Fan but the way we are going we will become the Astros after this year because we lose Fielder (who I think is playing his best year because it is contract year and he is a Boros boy so we know what happens with these guys). I am from WI and I am a Brewer fan but see us putting all our eggs on into this year when we should be looking towards next year also with our pitching staff we should still have and of course Braun. 

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2011 7:14 pm

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

Problems with this is that Fukudome is already gone after this year, Even if you find a taker for Soriano you won't free up much money since no one is taking him without the Cubs eating most of it (or taking on a similar bad contract) and Ramirez has a full no-trade that he already said he isn't willing to waive.

40 million is freed up at the end of this year. That's a good start to being able to dip into the free agent pool. A chunk of that could be used to lure Fielder and still have enough left over for another starter and some bullpen help. Problem is even with Fielder the lineup doesn't pose might threat to opposing pitchers.

Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: July 25, 2011 5:05 pm

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

Cubs need to dump any of the bad contracts if they can (Ramirez, Soriano, Fukudome) and give young guys the opportunity to see what they can do the remainder of the season.  Their hands are tied with the bad contracts, no money to pursue decent free agents with tread left on the tire.  Take picks and prospects for any of the above mentioned and Pena.  Pick the minor leaguers that will be the core going forward and let them have the experience.  Pay somebody if they have to in order to take those contracts.  The $60 million being tied up by those 3 would allow them to sign 7 players at $5-$8 million per year and be much better off.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2011 5:02 pm

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

The Cubs are awful, they have nothing. They need to make the complete transition, Vitters and Jackson need to be brought up. Vitters is ready and its no use keeping top prospects in the minors when this team is just as bad as the Astros. They could be the 2 worst teams in the NL

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:47 pm

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

The Cubs can go ahead and trade Ramirez if they want, but let's be clear that they do not have anyone else to play the position. Vitters isn't even ready for AA. He's useless in the majors. Baker, who also might be traded, is the ony other option they have. Literally. They have no one else that can play third. Even if they move Castro to third (where he should be), and Barney to short (where he probably should be, but the arm strength concerns me), they just create new hole elsewhere. They would not have anyone to play second. This is the job Hendry has done. He has literally no one in the farm system at the corner infield spots, the corner outfield spots, second, the bullpen or the rotation. Any and every trade he makes must immediately be filled with someone from the outside. His system is a deep as a kiddy pool.

Since: Jan 20, 2009
Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:54 pm

Report: Pena 'almost surely' will be traded

It would be great if the Cubs could somehow pry Tabata away from the Pirates in a deal for Pena.  They need players that are major league ready or a half step away at the most.  Not sure who they could target from Arizona?  Anyone have a handle on their system and what they could potentially offer?  If you're Hendry you have to try and leverage Pena at this point as best you can or you've basically failed Cubs fans and left them with little hope, yet again.  We really have no other bargaining chips and Pena really isn't worth much to begin with.  Would take a miracle to get someone the caliber of Tabata IMO, but Hendry has had success in dealing with the Pirates in the past.  

Would be nice if he could somehow convince A-Ram to waive his no trade and return to where it all began.  Packaging him along with Pena, could potentially bring something decent in return.  Too bad Ramirez makes up in selfishness, what he lacks in hustle!! 

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