New York Yankees

MLB Trade Rumors: Cubs Unlikely to Deal Carlos Pena to Yankees from Waiver Claim

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07: Carlos Pena #22 of the Chicago Cubs follows his home run against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 7, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07: Carlos Pena #22 of the Chicago Cubs follows his home run against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 7, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Doug RushSenior Analyst IAugust 25, 2011

Yesterday, we found out the Yankees put in a waiver claim for Chicago Cubs first basemen Carlos Pena.

The teams have 48 hours to work out a deal or Pena gets pulled back off waivers and remains with the team.

Right now, it's looking like Pena will be staying with Chicago.

According to Bruce Levine of ESPN, Pena talked to Cubs interim GM Randy Bush today and was told he would be pulled back and retained for the rest of 2011.

However, Pena hasn't been officially pulled back and the Yankees and Cubs could still have discussions on making a deal, but signs so far indicate that Pena is staying in Chicago.

Some people felt that the Yankees were only putting in a waiver claim for Pena to block him from going to any other team, but Pena passed through all the National League teams and almost every single American League team before they got to him, so the interest in Pena was legitimate.

If the Yankees had in fact landed Pena, that would have signaled the permanent place on the bench for Jorge Posada, who is hitting .244 on the season and started the season as the Yankees designated hitter.

Some people felt that Pena could be brought back to Chicago for 2012, especially if the Cubs fail to attempt to pursue free agent first basemen Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder this coming winter.

Pena, who left the Tampa Bay Rays as a free agent and signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Cubs last winter, has half of that deal deferred to him in 2012. According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, that may be a big reason why the Cubs aren't handing Pena over to the Yankees.

Rogers also felt that if the Cubs really wanted to deal Pena, the Yankees would have to give them something worth while in exchange.

Unless something drastic happens in the next 24 hours, it looks like the Yankees won't be landing Pena, which is disappointing.

Pena could have provided some pop into the lineup and could have spelled Mark Teixiera at first base on his days off.

If the Yankees are really looking for someone to fill in as the regular designated hitter for the next two months, there are still a few guys out there who did pass through waivers.

Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Johnny Damon and Oakland A's left fielder Hideki Matsui both passed through waivers and could be had by the Yankees. Both Damon and Matsui are former Yankees, both fan favorites in the Bronx and are both having better seasons than Posada.

Damon is batting .269 with 11 home runs and 57 RBI. Matsui is batting .257 with 11 home runs and 61 RBI. Posada is only batting .244 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI.

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome is another possibility, but it looks like either the Chicago White Sox or Cleveland Indians will get the waiver claim on the newest member of the 600 home run club.

The waiver wire trade deadline is now less than a week away. The Yankees are still looking to upgrade their team any way they can, as they sit one game behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the A.L. East.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is showing a good effort with his attempt to get Pena here, but it looks like his search to enhance the roster will have to continue.

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