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December 8, 2010

Carlos Pena on not choosing the Orioles

Carlos Pena, who nearly signed with the Orioles several offseasons ago, said the Orioles were definitely in the mix this time, but instead he signed a one-year $10 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

Pena had a multi-year offer from the Orioles, but preferred going to the Cubs.

“I think it was very close actually,” said Pena who batted .196 with 28 homers and 84 RBIs with the Tampa Bay Rays last season “(The Orioles) showed extreme interest, but at the end of the day I thought this was the best fit for me. I thought the Cubs wanted me the most. It was kind of cool to see how much interest they showed and how much I wanted to play for them. It was the perfect fit, for me, a no-brainer at the end of the day.”

He said the Orioles were “were very aggressive. I am very flattered… I was very flattered with the interest that was shown.”

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 2:45 PM | | Comments (33)


Translation: "The O's wanted me $6 million much and the Cubs wanted me $10 million much."

Further translation: "Both were cool, since I'm only worth $5 million much."

Dan, is there any limit to the amount of minor league teams that can be affiliated with a franchise? My thought is that if we are going to have to trade for players of any sort of caliber, wouldn't it make sense to have more minor leaguers to choose from, also It gives you a better chance of discovering that diamond in the rough.

i'd feel better if he said the Os had shown a little interest and he did the best he could to not laugh out loud at the offer, or better yet, they showed no interest at all. At one point last year, I thought Maddon was doing about everything he could to not take him out of the lineup.
Is it realistic to expect a guy who has gotten worse every year for the last 3 years to all of a sudden figure it out and return to 3 or 4 yr old form?
I'll take my chances with Hardy and Reynolds.

Or possibly:

For the same amount of money, I'll take facing NL Central (Pirates, Astros, Brewers, Cards) pitching over AL East pitching.

Sure, the Cardinals have a nice rotation, but other than that...

I don't think anyone in Baltimore is losing sleep over this one. Aside from the fact that we'll miss seeing his .196 average in the Tampa Bay lineup next year...

Perhaps calling him collect was a tactical error.

Any feeling that a 1B signing could happen today or tomorrow?

Considering Pena's down year in 2010, I think the viewed the NL Central as a means to fatten his stats for a much bigger payday after that 1 year contract expires. I think it's pretty obvious the AL East hurts the Orioles far more than a losing record when it comes to free agents. After all, who has lost more (historically) than the Cubs? Werth certainly didn't pick a winner with the Nationals. In that case they overpaid to the point where no one would turn them down....short of Cliff Lee.

mdbdotcom - "Perhaps calling him collect was a tactical error."

Pena was flattered by a multiyear lowball offer? I guess being indentured for more years at a lower salary is more flattering than, say, one year at ten million?


Can we just trade for a mid to high level 1B prospect? We have the pitching to do it. The offers we're making to the top-tier free agents are embarrassing. I have defended McPhail a number of times on this blog. However, I'm getting sick of the ineptness that is shown by this front office.

It laughable how upset some people get about a guy who by the way hit .198 last year turning down the O's to play for the Cubs at a ridiculous 10 million/1year. Get a clue. They are making offers but they are doing the right thing by not overpaying these guys. This isn't exactly the year of the hitter when it comes to free agents so people please chill.

This is a real setback. Just think, with Reynolds and Pena the Orioles would have had two guys hitting .200 collectively over the course of 1200 at-bats while striking out 400 times. The Orioles put themselves in this predicament by playing lousy baseball for the last decade while at the same time embarassing themselves in trade talks by low-balling every decent player on the market. Is it really any wonder that no player worth their salt wants to play for this pathetic franchise?

mdbdotcom - "Perhaps calling him collect was a tactical error."

That there is FUNNY - I don't care who you are!

Pena had an off year last year. Over the last 3-5 years he is not a .220 hitter or a .200 hitter for that matter. He played last year with an injury, that is supposed to be healed. I think the Cubs actually got a pretty good deal. They are only on the hook for one year. And Pena has a big upside.

One rhetorical question:

If we are to take him at his word, and the tie-beaker between the Cubs and the Os came down to his desire to play for the Cubs, in addition to their higher desire to add him, why did he sign only a one year deal then? Doesn't that contradict that sentiment from both sides, Peña and the Cubs?

If Pena duplicates 2010 next year that $10 mil will work out to over $105 K per hit.

The fact is over the last 4 seasons (Pena hurt in 2006) his avg has dropped, walks dropped, HR down, RBI down, and strikeouts up - oh, yeah his dollars are up.

He makes the Reynolds trade a heck of a deal - enough to celebrate.

I'm sorry but this is one instance where our putrid organization benefits from its malaise; Carlos Pena just topped the Hamburglar for most notable thief!
10 MILLION for hitting below the Mendoza line? What a wonderful world we live in folks. maybe there is something to the Nostradamas 2012 predictions!

Remember, Boys, Pena was bought for $50K just a few years ago. He apparently has reverted to his typical Tiger numbers of a few years ago and knows that the AL Scouts and pitchers have his number. That only leaves the NL to now figure out he can't hit a lefthanded curve ball of any kind, to save his butt. He probably grabbed the bigger one year deal just in case he flops again and with a losing tradition the Cubs have, no one will notice. AM looks really good here again with the Reynolds deal. Looks really good getting out of the Bartlett deal (though I think something still happens here)and if we end up with Hardy, I'm all for it for the low level players mentioned. Let's Play Ball!! Now sign Balfour and Koji!!

Thank goodness, no Pena. I've sen his act in Tampa Bay. Worthless. Most of the HR's when they come are when games are out of reach and mop up relievers in, never goes to the opposite field etc. etc. I was hoping he would go somewhere in our division again to help us out losing games.

McPhail offered no more than 3.5 to 5 million per year for 3 years for Pena.

"This is MacPhail's response when asked about his offer to Pena and the first baseman's decision to sign with the Cubs:
"Well, we would have been disappointed if we really made an offer. I don't know what to tell you. You asked I answered.""
From Rochs Blog

Boy that Boras is really an honest fellow.
We didn't ven offer Pena a contract which shows Andy and Buck are fully in control of getting this team in contention by not offering stupid contracts.

The above posters can begin the mea culpas in 3....2....1

Some of the best signings are those you don't make. Pena, Konerko and Werth are 3 of them. Too old and too late. We had Werth and gave him away for 5 or 6 great years but now he is 35 and going downhill. If you want a cheaper old man who can hit, get Guerrero or Thome for the bench and partime DH with Luke. While Andy is shopping, he should also check out the horde of promising first baseman KC has stockpiled in their system. We might get one of them cheap for a year or 2 down the road.

This is the King James version of what Carlos Pena said: "The beloved Orioles were therefore showing me love. In mine eyes I have seen the glory of playing for the Cubs of Chicago. They showed divine interest by giving of what they have and what I want. What I therefore want is to play on a team that has a chance to enter the pearly gates and not continue to the depths of damnation like the Orioles of Baltimore, " "Amen"....can I get a witness.

Well so much for screening posts?????

Back to baseball - I don't think the O's made an offer to Pena - he had to be their last choice out of the available guys - they want a RH hitter, and they can't afford to have him and Reynolds in the same line-up, even if Pena did bounce back a little.

Maybe Andy put out some feelers, but in the end, Pena is rolling the dice, like Beltre last year, that he can have a big year and convert to a long term high dollar deal.

When did any MLB club start PAYING a player to hit in the .100's? I was there in the deadball era, when Yaz could win the batting title with .301, but still, nobody kept a major-league job hitting .196. This is insane!

The suggestion one of the posters makes sense to me. Since MacFail is not willing to do what it takes to sign a premier free agent 1st baseman and MacFail lacks the cojones to make a blockbuster trade for a 1st baseman, maybe we should just trade one of out high level pitching prospects for a high level 1st base prospect. Since we have no real 1st base prospects in the minors (Snyder is not the answer), we have to so something for the long term.

But maybe that is too risky for MacFail.

I sense Lyle Overbay or Hank Blaylock playing 1st base for us next season.

So MacPhail, desperately in need of a slugging first baseman, never pursued Paul Konerko or Carlos Pena, and bid short on Adam Dunn, the three most coveted 1B free agents in the 2010 free agent class.

And the reason given is MacPhail thought Konerko would re-sign with Chicago anyway so he didn't even bother to make an offer. And Adam Dunn also signed with Chicago because they out bid MacPhail $56 mil to $40 mil over 4 years. And now it comes out that MacPhail never bid for Carlos Pena either. He was signed by that other Chicago team - the Cubs.

Some bad luck, huh?

I only see two explanations here: Either MacPhail had a momentary lapse in memory as to which city he works in or this is MacPhail's first trip to the Rodeo.

WTOP radio is reporting that the Nationals are close to signing LaRoche.

Ita OK qwe didn't need two infielders playing the power positions hitting below the Mendoza line.

To the Sunpapers:
Not sure why, when you are giving the reader the words you want them to type in for spam purposes, that you make them so damn hard to read. That doesn't make any sense.

Its OK we didn't need two infielders playing the power positions hitting below the Mendoza line.

To the Sunpapers:
Not sure why, when you are giving the reader the words you want them to type in for spam purposes, that you make them so damn hard to read. That doesn't make any sense.

I have to agree with the fellow who pointed out Pena signed for ONE season with the Cubs. To listen to Pena, he was just so overwhelmed by the Cubs love that"how could he say no". Really? One year?

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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