Pena still may end up with Cubs
December, 7, 2011
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesCarlos Pena turned down arbitration, but he still may end up back with the Cubs.First baseman Carlos Pena has turned down arbitration from the Chicago Cubs, according to MLB Network, and the Cubs will receive a Type B compensation draft pick between the second and third rounds of the June amateur draft.
Although Pena has turned down arbitration, it doesn't preclude him from returning to the Cubs as a free agent. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and agent Scott Boras talked about Pena at the general manager meetings in Milwaukee on Nov. 15. At the time, it appears they agreed that the Cubs would offer arbitration in order to get a draft pick and Pena would decline.
The reason is because Boras represents Pena and superstar free agent Prince Fielder. It makes sense for Boras to have the Cubs' market open to bid on Fielder and also to be able to get a larger contract with the Cubs or another team after Fielder and Albert Pujols set the market for free-agent first basemen.
Pena made $10 million in 2011 while hitting a team-high 28 home runs and driving in 80 runs.
The $10 million was paid over three different fiscal years. Pena received $2 million December, 2010; $3 million during the 2011 season and another payment of $5 million is due in January, 2012. The $5 million will count against the Cubs' 2012 payroll.