There were whispers earlier that the Chicago Cubs might decide to hang onto Carlos Pena through the trade deadline, and now Buster Olney says he’s heard just that.
Olney reports that the Cubs are “informing other teams that they will not trade Carlos Pena before the deadline.”
Pena, you’ll recall, is a free agent after this season. He is a borderline Type B free agent, so, if the Cubs retain him, and fail to re-sign him, he might leave the Cubs with nothing.
Presumably, the Cubs are reluctant to move him because they have no in-house replacement at first base, and if, they strike out on Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder in the offseason (or worse, don’t pursue them at all), they could be in serious trouble at first base in 2012. But isn’t that true of almost every position on the team anyway?
I can’t help but believe that my theory about Jim Hendry’s lame duck status is indeed what’s holding up Cubs moves. If the organization knows Hendry won’t be back, they may be reluctant to allow him to trade anyone whom the next GM might want to bring back in 2012.
That said, if I’m right, get a clue, Cubs.