Wednesday’s Morning Links: Hot Stove Edition
Cubs Lock Up Carlos Pena: It was a bit of a surprising move since Chicago wasn’t as closely linked to Pena as some other teams were, but fills a major need for the Cubs. The terms are a bit surprising at 1 year for $10 million, since Pena is coming off his worst professional season. Even if it was just a one year deal, I’m shocked Chicago went 8 figures for him. Now I would have understood $6 million with another $4 million in incentives, but then at least he’d be earning a big part of that contract. If Pena doesn’t rebound, this could be a big waste of money for Chicago and a huge regret. The free agent first base market got noticeably thinner with this deal, and it could lead to some interesting trades.
Angels Get Involved In the Cliff Lee Market: With the Angels stocked full of pitching and expressing an interest in a number of other key free agents, no one ever thought they were a serious suitor for Cliff Lee. That might be on the verge of changing as the Angels are expected to make a serious bid for the ace. Some of the thinking is that Lee’s two most likely destinations, Rangers and Yankees, are big time rivals of the Angels, and would hurt L.A.’s playoff chances if he signs with either one of them. On the flip side though, their biggest needs are on offense and in their bullpen, and it might be hard to fill those if they sign Lee. Sure they could then trade one of their starters to save money/bring in talent, but it might not be as beneficial as signing Carl Crawford or Adrian Beltre.
White Sox and Konerko Parting Ways?: The White Sox seem to be taking a firm line with Paul Konerko in their latest negotiations with their star first baseman, but really I think it is just posturing. The free agent market has really dried up, and if they lose Konerko their signing of Dunn will be a little more than a wash. Chicago needs Konerko at this point, and I really can’t see him playing anywhere else. Yes, he might have a few other suitors but none of them are as close to winning as Chicago is. I’m guessing it ends up being a 3 year $40.5 million deal, which is just under the average that Dunn was signed for.