Cubs Finally Make A Move; Sign First Baseman, Carlos Pena!

The Winter Meetings in Orlando have been stalled by Cliff Lee, however, the Cubs have managed to find their first baseman for the upcoming season.  Carlos Pena has agreed to a one-year contract worth about $10 Million.

Jim Hendry was running out of options as the search for a first baseman intensified.  Adrian Gonzalez was traded to Boston, Lance Berkman was signed by the Cardinals, and Adam Dunn will join Paul Konerko on the White Sox.  With available Free Agents dwindling, Hendry had to do something, something fast.  Hendry has been talking to Carlos Pena and Adam LaRoche, but has decided to go with former Tampa Bay, first baseman, Carlos Pena.

carlospena.jpgPena is the top defensive first baseman in this year’s free agent market.  He is a Gold Glove Award winner.  Despite his offensive struggles, Pena still managed to hit 28 homeruns last year.  He only batted .196, which has some Cubs’ fans nervous, but by coming to Chicago, Pena will have the opportunity to work with Cubs’ Hitting Coach, Rudy Jaramillo.  A change in his batting approach should improve his swing.  Poor hitting is fixable, especially when a hitter is willing to learn and make adjustments.  With a one-year deal, Pena will be motivated to make vast improvements to increase his market value next year.  I think Jim Hendry made the right decision by signing Pena.  In my humble opinion, Carlos Pena will be a good fit for the Cubs.  He will improve a defense that struggled last season, he adds a left-handed power bat to the middle of the line-up, and he is a leader in the club house.  The Cubs are in desperate need for all of those things.  While I have criticized Hendry for not making any moves up to this point, I will admit that he has done the right thing in signing Pena.   He will be a welcomed addition.

In other news, the Cubs have shown interest in some pitchers this week.  According to MLB Trade Rumors http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/chicago_cubs/index.html, the Cubs have had discussions concerning Zack Greinke, Matt Garza, and Brandon Webb.  There are talks of a trade with the Rangers for Chris Davis, a potential power-hitter, and Darren O’Day, a side-armed reliever with an ERA under 2.00.  It has also been reported that the Cubs are shopping Tom Gorzellany around to create an opening in the starting rotation. 

Good news!  The Winter Meetings are starting to heat up, but the Cubs are just getting warmed up.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.  With pitching a top priority, look for Jim Hendry to target a pitcher to solidify the starting rotation next.

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6 comments

  1. ronlang44

    Great about Rudy being Pena’s new hitting coach. We need him to hit. I would also like to see Hendry make a trade for Garza or Greinke.

    Ron

  2. diehardcubsfan4ever

    I honestly believe that since Carlos Pena will be reunited with his former hitting coach, Rudy Jaramillo, that he will improve dramatically. First of all, his low batting average last season was attributed to a foot injury and Pena has stated that it has healed since his season at Tropicana Field ended. He went on to say that the turf there caused it, which is good news because Wrigley doesn’t have artificial turf, so I expect him to have a turnaround season. Also, I agree, Ron, Greinke or Garza would make fine additions. Either one would solidify the starting rotation.

  3. The Cub Den

    I think the Cubs are going to sign Matt Garza. The pitching would be very strong. Any ideas what’s going to happen on second?

    —Mark Gauthier

  4. diehardcubsfan4ever

    The Cubs aren’t looking for a second baseman, unless they have a trade up their sleeves, but I doubt it. True, the Cubs need a lead off hitter and more defense, but it doesn’t appear that the Cubs are looking in that direction. Why? THAT is the question!

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