Cubs nab Pena for $10 million
MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that Carrie Muskat is reporting that Jim Hendry is reporting that the Cubs have signed Carlos Pena to a one-year, $10 million deal. You all are fortunate not to have taken me up on my wager offer earlier this month.
The statistic you'll hear most often about Pena's 2010 season as pundits analyze this deal is his .196 batting average. But hopefully those same writers will also point out that Pena had a higher on-base percentage than Tyler Colvin last year (.325 vs. .316).
The second-most frequently cited stat you'll hear will be the 28 home runs he hit last season. And indeed, given his slugging numbers from the past few seasons, it appears that maybe -- just maybe -- the Cubs have finally signed a left-handed hitter with power for the middle of their order. Hopefully $10 million gets us an on-base higher than .325 (.356, .377 and .411 in his past three seasons, although those are obviously trending in the wrong direction), and hopefully the man can play decent defense (FanGraphs seems to think he's pretty close to average). Who knows, maybe we'll want him back in 2012.
Speaking of 2012, I just wanted to add one comment: if the Red Sox extend Adrian Gonzalez and the Cardinals sign Pujols, that would make it seem like the Cubs will be competing with the New York Mets to sign Prince Fielder next year. Just food for thought. (Get it, food? 'cuz he's fat?)