Results tagged ‘ Carlos Pena ’

Angels bring in lefty bench haul

The Angels have signed quite the collection of potential left-handed bench bats, with Brennan Boesch, Carlos Pena and Chad Tracy all reportedly signing minor league deals with invitations to major league Spring Training. 

MLB.com‘s Alden Gonzalez has the news here about Pena and Boesch, whom Gonzalez says will compete for a bench spot this spring. 

Pena, also a solid defensive first baseman, signed a one-year, $2.9 million contract with the Astros last winter and hit .209 with 8 HRs and 25 RBIs in 85 games before he was released on July 31. The 35-year-old signed with Kansas City in August, but had a season-ending appendectomy in September. 

Boesch, who played at UC Berkeley before being drafted in the third round by the Tigers in 2006, played in 380 major league games from 2010-12 in Detroit and appeared in 23 for the Yankees last season. 

The Baltimore Sun‘s Dan Connolly reported Wednesday that the Angels also signed veteran Chad Tracy (not to be confused with former manager Jim Tracy’s son, who signed with the Orioles) to a minor league deal with an invite to big-league Spring Training. The former D-back and National has proven valuable off the bench in Washington the last two seasons.

– Joey Nowak

12/7 Aramis Ramirez declines arbitration

The agent for Aramis Ramirez told the Cubs Wednesday that the third baseman was declining the Cubs’ offer of arbitration. The deadline for players to decide whether to accept was 11 p.m. CT Wednesday. Both Ramirez and Carlos Pena were Type B free agents, and if they sign with other teams, as expected, the Cubs will receive a compensatory Draft pick between the first and second rounds. Pena already has told the Cubs he will decline the offer.

Ramirez may not go too far from Chicago. He is considering the Brewers as well as the Angels. There also is a third team, but Milwaukee’s advantage is that he could stay in the NL Central. Ramirez, who has met with both Brewers manager Ron Roenicke and Angels manager Mike Scioscia, has made it clear he wants to play for a contender. Ramirez, 33, won his first Silver Slugger award this season, batting .306 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs, and is considered the top free agent third baseman available.

– Carrie Muskat

12/7 Cubs’ Pena not expected to accept arbitration

Carlos Pena will not accept arbitration, according to a report Wednesday. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman said Pena will be going back on the market. In his one season in Chicago, Pena batted .225 with 28 homers and 80 RBIs. The deadline for players is 11 p.m. CT Wednesday. The Cubs also offered arbitration to Aramis Ramirez. If Pena and Ramirez sign with other teams, which was expected, the Cubs will receive a compensatory Draft pick between the first and second rounds. Pena’s decision is not a surprise. Theo Epstein mentioned Pena was looking for a multi-year contract.

The Cubs also did not offer arbitration to Kerry Wood, another Type B free agent, but they were expected to try to re-sign the reliever. Wood has had conversations with Epstein re: coming back.

The Brewers are reportedly interested in Ramirez, 33, who won his first Silver Slugger award this season, batting .306 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs, and is considered the top free agent third baseman available. Ramirez’s agent Paul Kinzer has said his client is looking for a multi-year contract.

– Carrie Muskat

11/28 Ramirez, Pena looking for multi-year deals

According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, Carlos Pena is likely to decline arbitration from the Cubs because the first baseman is seeking a multi-year deal. Also, the Tigers are reportedly inquiring about third baseman Aramis Ramirez, another free agent whom the Cubs offered arbitration to. Both Pena and Ramirez are Type B free agents, and if they sign with another team, the Cubs would receive supplemental draft picks as compensation next June.

– Carrie Muskat

7/26 Interest in Cubs’ Pena

According to SI’s Jon Heyman on Monday, Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena “will almost surely be moved” by the trading deadline and the Diamondbacks may interested. Any team that adds Pena would have to be prepared to pay him $5 million in January; his $10 million contract was structured so half of it was deferred to next year. Pena was batting .221 with 20 homers, nine doubles, one triple and 51 RBIs in 97 games.

– Carrie Muskat

 

Angels will be buyers, says Reagins

Contrary to what has been rumored, Tony Reagins said on a radio show Friday the Angels do have the ability to add payroll to this year’s club and will be looking to improve the team offensively before the trade deadline.

The Los Angeles general manager told Jim Bowden, host of ‘Inside Pitch,’ there was no truth to recent reports that ownership told him not to expand the team’s payroll anymore this season.

Reagins also said no players on his squad were untouchable.

Considering the Angels’ recent surge — they’ve won 11 of their last 15 games and six of their last seven — maybe it shouldn’t be come as a big surprise that they plan on being buyers at this year’s deadline.

ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote Friday that Chicago Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena might be a nice fit for the Halos. The 33-year-old has hit 17 home runs this season and would instantly become the biggest bat in the lineup. But after surveying the team’s current look, slotting Pena to provide Los Angeles with a power upgrade might be counter-productive.

Rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo leads the team in homers (13), and the arrival of Pena would mean a jam at that position. Moving either of the two to DH would be unlikely, as veteran Bobby Abreu has filled the role nicely almost every day with Vernon Wells back from injury. Trumbo can play right field, but obviously not anywhere close to the level that Torii Hunter plays it. Move Hunter back to his previous spot in center, and rising star Peter Bourjos is out of a spot.

Any changes to the rest of the infield could be unlikely, too, with Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis being two of the league’s better defensive players. Los Angeles’ catching platoon of Jeff Mathis and Hank Conger has struggled to produce at times. Still, manager Mike Scioscia, a former backstop himself, is well-known for the premium he puts on solid defense at the position, which he usually gets from both of those players, particularly Mathis.

Perhaps the most likely spot for a change would be third base, currently occupied by Alberto Callaspo. Callaspo has cooled off to a .280 season average after hitting .305 in the months of April and May and has committed nine errors. Callaspo has been a solid contributor, but if the Angels are seeking more power, maybe they take a look at another Cub, Jeff Baker. Baker is having probably his best Major League season, hitting .310 and slugging .437.

Then again, if the Angels keep winning like they have been, maybe we won’t see as much change.

by Jordan Garretson

6/27 Are the Cubs buyers or sellers?

The trade deadline is July 31 but it was a topic posed to some Cubs players after Monday’s 7-3 win over the Rockies. Will the Cubs be buyers or sellers? Aramis Ramirez said the front office will do what’s best for the team.

“We haven’t been healthy,” Ramirez said. “Right now we’re playing better but we’re missing Marlon Byrd and [Darwin] Barney [who are on the DL].”

Pitcher Matt Garza ignores the talk.

“I know what my job is and that’s to pitch and get outs,” he said. “None of that stuff concerns me. If my name gets called, it gets called. I’m just going to keep going out there and keep pitching.”

Carlos Pena has been red-hot lately. Maybe he’ll draw interest? He doesn’t think about such things.

“Not at all,” Pena said. “I’m a Cub. I don’t even look that far ahead. In my mind, I’m a Cub until the end.”

Does he feel the Cubs can still make a run in the NL Central?

“We still have faith in this ballclub,” Pena said. “Everyone here believes we can do it. We undrstand we need to play today’s game today. I think we’re playing great baseball in the last few weeks. Now we have to make the sure the tight ballgames go our way.”

– Carrie Muskat

12/9 Cubs talk to Rays re: Garza

It’s going to be tough to pry right-hander Matt Garza from the Rays. The
Cubs have talked to the team about a possible trade but Tampa manager
Joe Maddon says his starter isn’t going anywhere. If the Cubs are intent
on adding Garza, they’d have to be willing to part with some of their
young talent.

“Our farm system is very highly regarded with other
teams and any discussions we’ve had, it’s always been made very clear
that we have plenty of talent to get a deal done,” assistant GM Randy
Bush said Thursday. “It’s just a matter of what part of that talent we’d
be willing to let go.”

Carlos Pena, who signed a one-year deal with the Cubs on Wednesday, wouldn’t mind seeing his Tampa teammate join him in Chicago.

“Matt
Garza is one of those pitchers that wherever he goes, he’ll be an
incredible asset,” Pena said. “I think he’s got Cy Young potential, to
be honest with you. He’s a great kid. He leaves the window open for
great things to happen. Who knows? I think any team would love to have a
guy like Matt.

“It’s a lot of fun to play with Matt — he’s so
intense, I think you feel the heat radiating from him when you go to the
mound,” Pena said.

– Carrie Muskat

Roundup: 1B locked up in Windy City

Day 3 of the Winter Meetings saw a couple of slugging first
basemen land in Chicago, as the White Sox resigned
their captain
, Paul Konerko, and the Cubs took
a chance on Carlos Pena
.

The Konerko deal was somewhat surprising, considering talks between the two
sides seemed to be on life support just a day ago. But even after signing Adam
Dunn
, Chicago was able to give Konerko a three-year, $37.5 million to form what looks like one of the best lineups in baseball for 2011.

With the Cubs, Pena is reunited with his old esteemed hitting coach, Rudy
Jaramillo
, and receives what super-agent Scott Boras referred to as
a “pillow contract” — because, as Boras said, it’s comfortable for both
sides. That deal is for one year and $10 million, as Pena will try to rebuild
his worth after hitting 28 homers but batting below .200 in 2010.

Here’s more from around the league on Wednesday …

* No more fooling around for the Yankees. They’re ready to make ballyhooed
free-agent starter Cliff Lee a
preliminary offer
of six years and between $140 and $150 million, MLB.com’s
Bryan Hoch confirmed. Will that be enough, considering reports of mystery teams
offering seven years?

* The Rangers met with Carl Crawford‘s agent, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.

* Adrian Beltre is still open to signing with the Athletics, according
to Boras. Boras also said negotiations for his third-base client are moving
quickly, and that the Angels are a very possible suitor.  

* There had been several reports that the Red Sox would be interested in
trading for Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. But Boras, who represents
him, says Beltran plans
to be a Met
in 2011. That’s significant, considering he has a no-trade clause.

* Five teams are seriously pursuing Zack Greinke while another three are
“on the periphery,” according to FOXSports.com. It still seems like
he’d be tough
to move
, however. The Royals are specific with what they want: pitching and
up-the-middle help.

* The Red Sox, according to CBS Sports, are zeroing in on Magglio Ordonez
to fill their outfield void, which would not be good news for Crawford. The Tigers are also checking.

* The Twins continue their
interest
in resigning Carl Pavano, but they have competition. The
Brewers, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, have
also met with Pavano
. The Nationals are another club known to have
interest. 

* In less-heralded one-year deals on Wednesday, the Mariners signed
non-tendered designated hitter Jack Cust
; the Royals brought
in outfielder Jeff Francoeur
; the D-backs were reportedly on the verge of signing catcher Henry
Blanco
and veteran lefty Mike Hampton (Minor League deal); the
Braves acquired non-tendered lefty reliever George Sherrill; and the Dodgers were close to bringing back Russell Martin
 

– Alden Gonzalez 

Cubs, Pena may be close

The Cubs may have found their next first baseman in Carlos Pena. GM Jim Hendry continued discussions at the Winter Meetings with representatives for the free agent, and the team expected to hear more Wednesday. A source told MLB.com the two sides had finalized a one-year contract but a team official said it was too early to say the deal was done.

Pena’s batting average has dropped each of the last four seasons but he is averaging 36 homers and 100 RBIs in that span. He also ranks among the elite fielding first baseman, which would benefit the Cubs, who have been spoiled with Gold Glove winner Derrek Lee at first for the last seven seasons. Lee was traded to the Braves in August.

– Carrie Muskat

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