Ladies and gents, we have a first baseman! Carlos Pena and the Cubs agreed to a one-year deal worth a reported 10 million. While ten million dollars is a lot of money, I feel pretty darn good about this one. My wish was a short-term contract for a semi-decent first-baseman, so in my opinion, this is about as good as the Cubs were going to do.
It doesn’t hurt that Carlos Pena has been one of my favorite non-Cub major league players (along with Brian McCann and Curtis Granderson) for the past several years. He is a cool guy. He loves books, signs tacos, and says he would probably be an independent film-maker if not a ballplayer. He even knows how to use the word “idyllic.” What’s not to love?
I’ve already heard some grumbling about Mr. Pena’s batting average (under .200 in 2010.) I’ll grant that .196 is not and ideal number, but don’t let it fool you into thinking that this guy isn’t any good. His secondary average this year was .399, which is excellent. In 2009 it was .495, which is just crazy. Basically, he will walk a lot and hit home runs. He will also play excellent defense. That’s good enough for me.
If you haven’t seen any of the taco videos, here is the third one (from this past year.)