Cubs' Carlos Pena Claimed On Waivers

ESPN's Buster Olney just tweeted regarding Chicago Cubs first baseman Carlos Peña:

Carlos Pena of the Cubs was claimed on waivers by an unknown team.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Well, obviously, this doesn't tell us much. It would seem likely that the claimant is a National League team, since there are enough contending teams in that league that Peña, who hits for a low average (.223) but draws tons of walks so has a decent OBP (.342) and hits for power (.450 slugging), wouldn't have cleared the league.

The Cubs don't really have another first baseman, so if Peña were either dealt or just let go, they'd probably call up Bryan LaHair from Triple-A. LaHair is a minor-league lifer and almost 29, but is having a monster year at Triple-A Iowa (.335/.411/.660 with 34 home runs and 100 RBI in 121 games).

The intriguing part of this deal is Peña's contract. Varying reports have stated that Peña's $10 million deal is being paid half this year and half in 2012 -- or one-third in calendar year 2010 (after his signing last December), one-third in 2011 and one-third in 2012. So if the Cubs were to simply let him go to the claiming team, it's not clear how much salary relief they'd get. Peña's a good defensive first baseman, but the return in trade value is likely to be small if the mystery team goes that route with the Cubs.

Anyway, they've got 48 hours to figure it out. So either Peña will be a Cub on Friday. Or he won't.

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