Results tagged ‘ Carlos Pena ’

2/16 Q eager to see Pena, not Pujols

Albert Pujols’ decision to end contract talks with the Cardinals may have some Cubs fans speculating that he could be moving north in 2012 but not Mike Quade.

“That’s their deal,” Quade said Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to working with our guys on
Saturday. You hear, ‘Is that going to affect this or that?’ — they’re going to
be a good team. He ain’t going anywhere now, that’s for [darn] sure. He’s somebody
we have to get out and somebody we have to beat and I don’t care what happens
contract-wise right now with him. That’s between them and him.”

What about next year?

“Let’s hope
we’re all here next year and can answer the same questions,” Quade said.

One reporter speculated that the Cubs could be in the mix for the first baseman.

“Is he going to be here tomorrow?” Quade said. “I’m looking forward to
seeing Carlos Pena knock the daylights out of the ball and that’s all that
matters to me right now.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/15 Pena to work with Rudy

Carlos Pena will get to work on his swing next week with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Pena, who signed a one-year, $10 million contract in December with the Cubs, will go to Dallas to work with Jaramillo immediately after the Cubs Convention ends Sunday. The free agent is coming off a disappointing season in which he batted .196.

“It’s just getting back to basics,” Pena said of what he wants to accomplish in his sessions with Jaramillo.

The two were together briefly in Texas. Pena was the Rangers’ first round pick in 1998 and played briefly in 2001 with the big league team. The 2010 season was Jaramillo’s first in Chicago after 15 seasons with the Rangers.

“We’ll get acquainted again,” Pena said. “I’m anxious to get it going.”

Pena called Jaramillo the day he signed with the Cubs. The hitting coach has looked at video of the first baseman this winter. Despite the low batting average, Pena did hit 28 homers and drove in 84 runs for the Rays in 2010. He said last season was his toughest to deal with personally but sees nothing but positives.

“I’m happy I went through the struggles I went through last year because it makes me stronger,” he said. “Today, the Cubs are getting a better player because of it.”

— Carrie Muskat

1/11 Cubs Convention attendees

Are you going to the Cubs Convention? Manager Mike Quade and his coaching staff will be there, including Mark Riggins, Rudy Jaramillo, Lester Strode, Bob Dernier, Ivan DeJesus and Dave Keller. Here are the players scheduled to attend the winter fan fest, which begins Friday at the Hilton Chicago:

Current players: Jeff Baker, Darwin Barney, Justin Berg, Marlon Byrd, Andrew Cashner, Starlin Castro, Casey Coleman, Tyler Colvin, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Tom Gorzelanny, John Grabow, Koyie Hill, Scott Maine, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Carlos Pena, Fernando Perez, Aramis Ramirez, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Silva, Geovany Soto, Randy Wells, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano.

Former players: Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Mike Bielecki, Bill Buckner, Jose Cardenal, Doug Glanville, Randy Hundley, Fergie Jenkins, Greg Maddux, Gary Matthews, Keith Moreland, Dave Otto, Milt Pappas, Lee Smith, Tim Stoddard, Steve Trout, Todd Walker, Billy Williams.

Minor League players: Chris Carpenter, Jay Jackson, DJ LeMahieu.

— Carrie Muskat

1/8 Perez eager to join Cubs

Outfielder Fernando Perez told the St. Petersburg Times he was “very excited” about going to the Cubs. Perez was reported to be one of the Rays Minor League players included in the deal in which the Cubs get pitcher Matt Garza. Chicago will send five players to Tampa Bay, including Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos and Sam Fuld. The deal could be announced Saturday.
“I think there’s a lot of reasons I really liked the Rays, it’s the only place I’ve ever known,” Perez told the Times in a phone interview Friday. “I loved it there. And I’m prone to sentimentalism. … But the opportunity is probably better [in Chicago], so I’m excited. I would have loved for it to have worked out in Tampa Bay, and it was probably going to happen before I hurt my wrist [in Spring Training 2009] and everyone forgot my name.”

A switch-hitting outfielder, Perez came off the bench for the Rays in the 2008 World Series. He dislocated his wrist diving for a fly ball in Spring Training. He’s healthy now.

“I’m totally looking ahead,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to play for the Cubs?”

Cubs GM Jim Hendry called Perez Friday and told him there were people within the organization who had wanted the speedy outfielder for some time.

“I’m really, really excited,” Perez said. “I’m sad to go. … I know this is a business, and that’s how it works.”

Perez has acknowledged the deal on his Twitter account, saying, “Getting traded is so distracting! Readin same pg over&over thinkin ’bout ivy and pena doing dugout dance b4 WS game garza starts & wins”

That may be a reference to the decisive Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Oct. 19, 2008, between the Rays and Red Sox, which Garza, Carlos Pena and Tampa Bay won, 3-1. Garza gave up one run on two hits and struck out nine over seven innings, and was named MVP of the series.

Perez has appeared in 41 games with the Rays in 2008 and ’09, and was on the roster for the ’08 postseason. He appeared in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series as a pinch-runner and stole second. But the Phillies won the game, 4-3, and the series.

— Carrie Muskat

1/4 Cubs Convention update

Still trying to decide whether to go to the Cubs Convention? There are
still rooms available at the Hilton Chicago for the event, Jan. 14-16.
Staying at the host hotel is much easier than staying somewhere else in
Chicago — you might even bump into Sean Marshall or Kerry Wood in the
elevator. Plus, you get a weekend pass to the Convention for $20 each.
There is a limit of four passes per room. In addition, the Cubs are
offering a special autographed item to everyone who books a room under
the Cubs Convention rate. There will be one item per room while supplies
last.  Hotel reservations can be made by calling the Hilton Chicago at
(312) 922-4400.

Among the other players scheduled to attend are new first baseman Carlos
Pena, Carlos Zambrano Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Marmol, Tyler
Colvin, Starlin Castro, Chris Archer, Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter and
DJ LeMahieu. Also, Cubs manager Mike Quade and his staff will be there
to answer questions.

— Carrie Muskat

12/21 Wood, Z, Pena at convention

Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano and new first baseman Carlos Pena will be among the players attending the 2011 Cubs Convention, Jan. 14-16 at the Hilton Chicago. Wood, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract last Friday to return to the Cubs, will be among the players attending the winter fan fest and will be joined by Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Marmol, Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro.

Cubs manager Mike Quade will answer fans questions, and attendees will get to meet prospects Chris Archer, Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter and DJ LeMahieu.

A limited number of convention passes are available for purchase by visiting or by calling 1-800-THE-CUBS. Each weekend pass is $60 plus convenience fees, with proceeds to benefit Chicago Cubs Charities. Passes include access to all autograph/photo opportunities, question and answer sessions, memorabilia and vendor booths, as well as interactive areas for fans of all ages.

— Carrie Muskat

12/20 Carlos Pena thanks Rays fans

Carlos Pena bid farewell to Rays fans in an ad in Monday’s Tampa Bay Tribune. Here’s the text of the ad:

Dear Fans of Tampa Bay,

Even though my words will never be able to express how special playing for you these past four years has been for me, I will make an attempt. I feel extremely grateful that I had the privilege of playing for the Tampa Bay Rays and to have grown along with the team. I was able to enjoy unbelievable thrills but not before enduring heartache and defeat. Now I know more than ever that anything is possible if I believe it to be with all my might. When I first became a Ray, we were the worst team in baseball. But what was about to happen next, not even the greatest fiction writer in the world would have been able to come up with it. I have never in my life seen a team come together in such a way, where everyone humbly but undeniably believed with all their strength that we could make it to the top. This is the story of the little engine that could. The underdog story. The story of a team in oblivion, that went on to become the American League East Champs twice, American League Champs once, and made a World Series appearance. I am so honored to be able to say that I was a RAY. Thanks for cheering for me when I performed well, but most importantly thanks for patting me on the back and encouraging me when it was difficult. Thanks for inspiring me to be the best I can be. I will keep on trying for I know that I will never be done, for the beauty of life is in the journey, not the destination. Thank you Tampa Bay Rays for believing in me when no one else did. Thank you to all my teammates for their friendship and for all the wonderful memories. Thank you to all the fans of Tampa Bay for pulling for me every night and day. I will be forever grateful.

May God bless you always,

Carlos Pena

— Carrie Muskat

12/9 Cubs talk to Rays re: Garza

It’s going to be tough to pry right-hander Matt Garza from the Rays. The Cubs have talked to the team about a possible trade but Tampa manager Joe Maddon says his starter isn’t going anywhere. If the Cubs are intent on adding Garza, they’d have to be willing to part with some of their young talent.

“Our farm system is very highly regarded with other teams and any discussions we’ve had, it’s always been made very clear that we have plenty of talent to get a deal done,” assistant GM Randy Bush said Thursday. “It’s just a matter of what part of that talent we’d be willing to let go.”

Carlos Pena, who signed a one-year deal with the Cubs on Wednesday, wouldn’t mind seeing his Tampa teammate join him in Chicago.

“Matt Garza is one of those pitchers that wherever he goes, he’ll be an incredible asset,” Pena said. “I think he’s got Cy Young potential, to be honest with you. He’s a great kid. He leaves the window open for great things to happen. Who knows? I think any team would love to have a guy like Matt.

“It’s a lot of fun to play with Matt — he’s so intense, I think you feel the heat radiating from him when you go to the mound,” Pena said.

— Carrie Muskat

12/8 Hendry on Pena deal

Cubs GM Jim Hendry likes the way they were able to structure Carlos Pena’s deal. The first baseman will get $10 million, although part of that money is deferred.

“I think it’s good for both sides,” Hendry said. “You’ve got a power hitter that for four years has averaged 36 home runs, a real good defender… I look at his situation a lot like (Adrian) Beltre’s a year ago when he went to Boston. Carlos had a few nagging injuries and didn’t hit for even the average he used to, so he found a club that was really a good fit for him.

“We like the shortness of [the deal], and at the same time it was position we really needed, and he fits the requirements that were important,” Hendry said.

Pena is exactly what the Cubs are looking for, Hendry said.

“It’s hard to find,” he said. “That’s why (left-handed sluggers) get locked up for as long as they do, the (Ryan) Howards, (Adrian) Gonzalez, those kind of guys. We’ve lacked that. We’ve been looking for that kind of power for a while. Plus he has the combination of outstanding defense, and is a terrific guy character-wise. We thought it was a real good fit and hope it works at the level we expect it to. There’s a history of people like this that go somewhere for a year and then maximize their value for the future.”

— Carrie Muskat

12/8 Pena deal is done

The Cubs have completed deal with free agent Carlos Pena and are bringing him to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotel for a 1 p.m. ET news conference. He signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Cubs.

— Carrie Muskat