Indians Interested In Carlos Peña

Carlos Peña, who hit .225 with 28 home runs for the Chicago Cubs in 2011, is still an unsigned free agent.

That might not last too much longer, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who has heard something:

Heard this: #Indians like 1B Carlos Pena and went to ownership to see if they could make a deal work. No word on decision.

The Tribe is already overloaded with lefthanded bats, including Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Shin-Soo Choo, Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Jack Hannahan and Lonnie Chisenhall, but Peña plays good defense at first base and is thought to be a good clubhouse influence.

If not Cleveland, a return to Tampa Bay for Peña can’t be ruled out, according to XM Radio’s Jim Bowden:

Rays and Indians remain front-runners for Carlos Pena on one-year deal but salary a major problem for both

Translation: Peña, who is represented by Scott Boras, wants a deal similar to his 2011 contract, but that’s too much for the Rays and Indians.

Peña had a rare Cubs accomplishment in 2011 — he drew 101 walks. Only four other Cubs (Hack Wilson, Richie Ashburn, Sammy Sosa and Gary Matthews Sr.) have done that in a season in the last 100 years.

So despite Peña’s low batting average, he does have offensive value.

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