New York Yankees: Following Pitching Additions, Carlos Pena May Be Next

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IJanuary 14, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Carlos Pena #22 of the Chicago Cubs runs the bases during the fifth inning of the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on September 26, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
Kent Horner/Getty Images

It's been 24 hours since the Yankees made by far one of the biggest splashes of the winter.

From the moment the season ended until last night, they were extremely quiet and we all wondered if they would make a single move.

My gut was telling me that Yankees GM Brian Cashman was going "as is" for 2012.

And then, everything changed, and Cashman was just waiting for the right time.

First, he traded catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right-handed starter Michael Pineda.

Pineda is a 22-year-old strikeout pitcher with a bright future ahead of him.

Just after that trade shook the baseball world, the Yankees then turned around and brought in former Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million deal.

Kuroda is an innings eater and very durable, plus he gives the Yankees a ton of depth in the rotation.

So both moves proved to be excellent ones for Cashman and the Yankees.

And apparently. they aren't done now that the designated hitter spot is now open.

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports and WFAN, the Yankees are now looking to pursue former Rays and Cubs first basemen Carlos Pena.

Pena only batted .225, but had 28 home runs and 80 RBI with the Cubs in 2011.

Pena was nearly a Yankee last year as he was claimed off waivers by the Yankees in late August, but the Cubs pulled Pena back off waivers.

With Pena now a free agent and the Cubs trading for Padres first basemen Anthony Rizzo, it looks like the Cubs are going in a different direction for their first-base spot and leaves Pena looking for work.

With Montero now in Seattle and Jorge Posada retiring, it gives the Yankees a spot to fill, which Pena could easily fit.

He can be the DH against right-handed batters, and they can put Alex Rodriguez there when the team plays left-handed pitching.

Or, they could put Pena at first when they want to give Mark Teixeira a day off or put him at the DH spot for a game or two.

This past summer, I was all for bringing Pena to the Bronx. Five months later, given Pena is a pull-hitter and his swing is made for the short porch of Yankee Stadium, I think he would be a great hitter for the Yankees to have.

Sure, he strikes out a lot. And yes, he does hit for a low average.

But he's got a lot of power and has a great glove as a first baseman, so those qualities are hard to ignore in a lineup that can always use a little more pop in it.

If they do sign Pena, it's probably going to be another one-year deal, just so they aren't blocking the DH spot once A-Rod needs to go there full-time.

But bringing in Pena right now would be a good move for the Yankees, and if Pena is on Cashman's radar, hopefully he'll snag him up quickly.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.


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