Late last night, the Chicago Cubs informed Carlos Pena that they had pulled him off waivers after he was claimed by the New York Yankees.

Few thought a trade was likely given the Cubs’ uncertainty at first base for 2012 and the unique structure of Pena’s contract (the Cubs are going to be paying him $5 million in January whether they trade him or not, so their asking price was apparently high), and Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman yesterday said he didn’t think a deal would happen.

Pena appreciated that he was pulled off waivers.

“The conversation [about pulling back the waiver] was to reassure me how much [the Cubs] think of me,” Pena said. “I made sure I told him likewise and that I appreciate being here and being a Cub, and how much pride I take in wearing the uniform.

“Regardless of what I was hearing or what people were talking about, I never lost sight that today I’m wearing this uniform and this is my whole entire eternity right here.”

That the Cubs so quickly pulled Pena off of waivers after he was claimed by the Yankees suggests two things: (1) the Yankees were not interested in giving up much of anything in trade for Pena, instead hoping the Cubs were just looking to save some cash; and (2) the Cubs were hoping Pena would clear waivers, leaving their options open with respect to a trade.

Pena will now be with the Cubs through the end of the year, at which time they will have to decide whether to offer him arbitration. His decision to accept will come by early December, so the mere offer of arbitration doesn’t necessarily take the Cubs out of the bidding for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. But if he does accept, the Cubs will have their first baseman for 2012. It remains possible that the Cubs will not offer Pena arbitration, given that it would essentially be an offer of another $10 million (maybe more) contract for 2012. Is Pena still worth $10 million per year?

  • philoe beddoe

    Pena seems like a good guy to have…we could do a lot worse…try to get him on the cheap for a two year extension….and focus on finding 2 OF’s and a new 3B….oh, and 3 starting pitchers…

  • Fishin Phil

    If they do offer him arbitration, he will grab it with both hands.

  • CUB5

    Pena IS a great guy, but he’s too pricey. He’s definitely a safety net at 1B for us. I’m sure the Cubs would love to invest that $15-20 million into a long-term contract for someone who’ll be around a while with the team like the other 2 mentioned above ( though I don’t think there’s any way Pujols would come to Chicago).

  • Toosh

    No, he is not worth $10 million per year. And he would get more than that in arbitration. The Cubs had nothing to lose by letting the Yankees have him on waivers. They wouldn’t have offered arbitration either, adding one more 1B to the FA possibilities. Bush, and or Ricketts, screwed up already.

  • CubFan Paul

    Is he worth $10mil/year? Considering it took him til his FOURTH at bat to bunt the ball through the GIGANTIC HOLE up the 3rd base line, Hell No, because when he finally took what the defense gave he was already 0-3 & it was in the 8th inning & we had the lead ..had he bunted thru that gargantuan space with the bases loaded instead of striking out we would of scored at least one more run guaranteed, keepiung that inning alive, but nooo, bunting isnt cool, he was behind 0-2 in his 1st three at bats attempting to swing for the fences

    .220 hitters piss me off & he’s not worth his contract now & definitely not worth another $10million or more ..hopefully the new GM wants a guy at 1st base who’s willing to do the little things or hires a coach that has enough balls to make his players swallow their swing for fences pride when its good for the team ..ugh

    • BT

      so you are mad that our #4 hitter isn’t bunting enough?

      • willis


      • CubFan Paul

        so you are mad that our #4 hitter isn’t bunting enough?

        YES, yes i am when the defense gives a GIGANTIC HOLE to bunt/slaphit a wormburner thru! and especially when that “number 4” hitter is batting .220

        If his average was over .250 (meaning he gets a hit 25% of the time) then he can choose not to bunt 3 times in a row when they give it to him

      • CubFan Paul

        ..pena bunted against the shift in the 4th today

        the more he bunts against the exaggerated shift the more he’ll get a regular defensive look -common sense ..defeat the shift and keep them guessing

        • NL_Cubs

          and on a 1-2 count no less! Nice.

          • NL_Cubs

            And now Pena hits a 2-0 pitch into the teeth of the shift and is safe on the head first dive. There’s no stopping this guy…unless of course the bases are juiced with the game on the line and 2 outs.

        • hardtop

          unfortunately he got to second before colvin wiffed. im finding hard to believe colvin actually hit those 20 hr’s last year… it must have been a look a like ringer type wearing his name. the broadside of barns everywhere are laughing hysterically, just daring colvin to hit them.

          reed the steed has been cold lately too. maybe reed the gelding for now.

  • cubsklm

    If, and that’s BIG if, Cashman is a serious candidate for the Cubs GM. Why would he handcuff himself with this waiver claim?

    Any team that has a .200 hitter batting cleanup is going no where. Cubs need a power hitter as a LF. Ramirez in the 4 hole, then if we have to keep Pena, he hits 5th.
    I would really like to see the Cubs get Span from the Twins.
    The lineup needs to be

    CF Span
    2b Barney
    ss Castro
    3B Ramirez
    LF open
    1b Pena
    CF open
    RF Colvin
    C. Soto

    • Brett

      Because Cashman thought it was worth the $1.6 million or so, if the Cubs decided to dump Pena on them. I think it was a savvy move on his part.

    • Brian

      I like Span. He would fit in well with the team.

      • Internet Random

        Is that supposed to be an insult or a compliment?

        • Brett

          Ba dum ching.

    • CUB5

      While I agree it might be the best option, I don’t think you should leave LF open if you have Soriano. That would be a lot of field to cover for Span.

      • Jim

        That’s OK, he’s got 2 CFs to cover LF.

    • dreese

      No Castro batting 3rd!

  • Robbo

    Pena strikes me as a great clubhouse guy and a team leader. If only he were 5 years younger, struck out 50 fewer times a year, and hit better than .250 once in a while. Solid guy, but gotta think he will be nothing more than option 3 for Cubs at 1b going into this free agent market.

    • Brett

      I would pay good money for that guy.

    • CubFan Paul

      option 4, behind Lance Berkman

  • andrew

    Lance Berkman…? I wouldnt watch a single cubs game that, that cock4brains is playing in.

    • hardtop

      yes you would. c’mon, you know you couldnt help yourself 😉

      did you watch when we had bradley?

    • CubFan Paul

      sure about that?

      Berkman: .290/.403/.573/.975 with 29HRs 78RBI &only 72Ks and 83walks

      Pena: .223/.341/.449/.790 with 223HRs 67RBI AND 130Strikeouts and 78walks

      • MichiganGoat

        I’ll take those 223HR… j/k

        • CubFan Paul

          lol MG!

          Pena: .223/.341/.449/.790 with *23HRs 67RBI AND 130Strikeouts and 78walks

          • MichiganGoat

            Oh, I’ll take Berkman thank you.