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Fangraphs' View of the Cubs after the Carlos Pena Deal

20

More optimistic than I would have expected on the Cubs for 2011. "Even if Pena produces something between what he did in 2009 and 2010, he could produce value somewhere close to his $10 million salary. In 2008, when he produced a .374 wOBA and a positive UZR, he was worth $18.1 million in the WAR-to-dollars conversion. Even when his UZR turned negative in 2009 (and he produced the same .374 wOBA), he was worth $12.6 million. With a wOBA in the .350 range and some quality defense at first base, Pena could again cross that $10 million mark. But, again, the Cubs are gambling that he’ll be closer to that .374 mark with good defense. While the downside is considerable — Pena was worth just over $4 million in 2010 — even a modest bounce back could mean the Cubs getting even value. A full offensive recovery could lead to considerable surplus value. If Pena does recover, the Cubs could be just a few breaks away from contention in 2011. A healthy, powerful Pena, along with a recovered Ramirez, could help fuel the team’s offense. The pitching staff could also see some improvements in 2011. Each of the team’s five presumptive starters — Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny, Randy Wells, and Ryan Dempster, had a FIP under 4.00 in 2010. These combined could lead the Cubs back into the picture for a relatively weak NL Central."

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