Yesterday afternoon the Yankees were awarded a claim on Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena. Unfortunately for the Yankees who could use some DH help and a backup first baseman, the Cubs were not interested in trading him.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported yesterday that the Cubs didn’t like the offers they got for Pena at the trade deadline and pulled him off waivers because they figured that they wouldn’t get a better offer by just dealing with one team, the Yankees. A move would also open up a hole at first base that they would have to fill this offseason anyway and would like to see Pena return.
There isn’t a big reason to deal Pena financially either. He is playing on a one-year $10 million contract and despite the fact that there is $5 million in deferred payments, those payments are prorated and the Cubs would be on the hook for almost all of it anyway, according to Rosenthal.
Essentially what happened here is that the Cubs put Pena on waivers just in case he cleared and they could take offers from everybody. The Yankees, needing a DH, put in a claim for him, but since the Cubs could not only deal with one team they figured they might as well just keep him. In fact, according to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Yankees and the Cubs had not even discussed a possible deal as of last night.
It’s a shame the Yankees couldn’t pull off a deal for Pena. Jorge Posada is struggling, Eric Chavez is struggling, Alex Rodriguez is not completely healthy, and Mark Teixeira could use a backup first baseman. Pena could have improved the DH spot, become a bat off the bench, and an occasional first baseman.