MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweets that the Cubs have signed free agent first baseman Carlos Pena to a one year contrct worth $10 million. Pena played for Tampa Bay the last four seasons, including a prominent role as part of the 2008 American League Penant winning club.
Pena moves on to the National league for the first time in his career that has included stops in Texas, Oakland, Detroit, and Boston, as well as th Yankees farm system. In 2010, he had a challenging season batting .195/.325/.407 in 582 plate appearances. His batting average was smothered by some bad luck with a .222 BABip, far below the league normal rate of .300.
He broke out with the then Devil Rays in 2007 when he belted 46 home runs and drew 103 walks in 612 plate appearances as Tampa Bay's startng first baseman. The Rays gave him the opportunity after he was cast off by the Tigers and failed to earn jobs with Boston nor New York in 2006. He led the AL in home runs in 2009 with 39 and made his second All-Star appearance.
Chicago seeks a bounce back year from Pena to replace Derrek Lee who was traded last August to Atlanta and is now a free agent. Lee had been a fixture on the north side since 2004.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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