8/24 Pena: ‘It was flattering the Cubs retained me’

The Cubs told Carlos Pena on Wednesday they pulled him off waivers after the Yankees claimed the first baseman. Cubs interim GM Randy Bush, who has taken over the GM duties following the dismissal of Jim Hendry, spoke to Pena before the team’s game against the Braves.

“The conversation was to reassure me how much they think of me,” Pena said. “I made sure I told him likewise and that I appreciate being here and being a Cub, and how much pride I take in wearing the uniform.

“Regardless of what I was hearing or what people were talking about, I never lost sight that today I’m wearing this uniform and this is my whole entire eternity right here,” Pena said.

The Yankees put in a waiver claim on Pena. GM Brian Cashman said a deal seemed unlikely. Pena has $5 million of his total $10 million contract deferred until January 2012. If the first baseman was dealt, the Cubs would pay a pro-rated portion of the contract, which means they would be obligated for the $5 million.

Pena had heard the rumors, although not directly.

“I try to stay oblivious to all that,” he said. “It’s almost impossible because of how advanced we are with the media, computers, the Internet. Even if I’m not … connected to the Internet, my friends are, my family is, my brothers may be and they may say something.”

Pena, 33, who signed a one-year deal last December, was batting .223 with 23 homers and 67 RBIs this season, and has reached the 20-homer mark for the fifth straight year.

He didn’t take the waiver process as anything but a procedural move. Most teams put their entire roster through waivers.

“I certainly wasn’t the only one going through waivers,” Pena said. “It was flattering to see the interest. It was more flattering to see how the Cubs pulled back and retained me. If anything, I tried to look at those positives.”

Pena also complimented Bush for the professional way he gave the first baseman the news.

“It’s weird to go through this type of process but at the end of the day, I have to keep it simple,” Pena said. “Get here, put the uniform on, grab a bat, a glove and go play baseball and leave it at that because that’s all I can control.”

– Carrie Muskat

4 Comments

What???? Hendry was dismissed???
Great, a real love-fest is starting between Bush, Pena and his .160 batting average w/ risp.
Wonderful news that the Cubs think so highly of Pena and his less than stellar run production that they decided it best to continue to clog the system making it tougher for the already challenged Quade to get LaHair time at 1B. Now we may never know if LaHair might have a .170 ba w/ risp!!!. Even if they saved just a little money by letting the Yankees have Pena…it’s still some money back from yet another bad contract orchestrated by the FORMER GM. Really, this year and even next year should Bush sign him before the new GM arrives, where are the Cubs going WITH Pena? We already lack big run producers in LF, RF and CF so why waste another RBI position with a 10 million dollar (or more) guy like Pena? Pena was just Hendry’s desperate and feeble attempt of continuing his delusion of a contending team.

Right on, these last few weeks should be spent seeing what players like LaHair, Campana, Colvin, Castillo, Jackson, LeMahieu, and Carpenter can do. Instead we can already see that we will be stuck with the same “untouchable” vets. Quade did the same thing last year, and hows that working out for us?

I don’t believe it for a second that Bush made the decision to keep Pena… Sure it may look that way but the Yankees were never going to go after Pena unless the Cubs absolutely wanted to bend over on the deal. What I don’t liek seeing is more and more Cubs’ FO loving on Pena. This guy should not have a future with the Cubs after this year. If we want to build a winning ballclub we gotta go after Fielder. Get a GM in here that isn’t loyal to all the garbage laying around Wrigley. I feel like I am on an episode of hoarders with how we are so “loyal” to guys. Screw them this is business and the business shoudl be to win some games!!!!

Why would you keep him?!?!? There is no reason he should have a future with this team. We all know what is going to happen in September, they are going to make a big deal about calling up LaHair, and then he is going to sit on the bench the whole time, so as to not hurt little Carlos’ feelings. He is being paid like a superstar, but he is nothing but an overrated platoon player. Even if you don’t get anything back at all, this gives you time to see what LaHair can or cannot do. I really hope the next gm is not this stupid.

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