The Chicago Cubs are showing interest in free-agent first baseman Carlos Peña, according to a major league source.
Peña, 32, is coming off a disappointing contract year with the Tampa Bay Rays, batting only .196 with 28 home runs and 84 RBI in 144 games. He also missed time because of an injured heel.
Hitter-friendly Wrigley Field would be a favorable landing spot for Peña, particularly if he plans to reestablish his value over a short-term deal. (The one-year strategy worked well for Adrian Beltre, a fellow Scott Boras client, at Fenway Park in 2010.)
That Peña bats left-handed is another selling point. The Cubs don’t have an experienced left-handed power hitter on their current roster.
Peña's a former Gold Glove winner, and his defensive ability would be an asset for the Cubs. Chicago infielders had grown accustomed to playing with Derrek Lee, a big target at first and a former Gold Glover himself.
Manager Mike Quade doesn’t have an obvious internal candidate to play first base this year, although it’s possible outfielder Tyler Colvin could handle the position in the long term.
The Cubs also have shown interest in free agent Lance Berkman.
-Jon Paul Morosi