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With Pena leaving, who's on first?



The Rays only chance to bring back 1B Carlos Pena was if he couldn't find a big-money deal elsewhere, and that's exactly what happened late Tuesday as he agreed to a one-year deal with the Cubs for what reported to be $10-million.

That means that after hitting .196 last season for the Rays, Pena barely took a cut from his $10.125-million salary. And by doing a one-year deal, Pena positioned himself for a chance to improve his value and go back onto the free agent again next season in hopes of landing a multi-year deal.

With Pena gone, the Rays are looking at using either Dan Johnson or Ben Zobrist at first, or going into the free agent or trade market.

Here is the list of current free-agent first basemen the Rays could eye, though it's obvious Konerko (likely back with the White Sox) and LaRoche (Washington?) are headed for big-dollar deals elsewhere:

Garrett Atkins
Michael Aubrey
Russell Branyan
Jorge Cantu
Ryan Garko
Jason Giambi
Troy Glaus
Mike Jacobs
Nick Johnson
Paul Konerko
Casey Kotchman
Mark Kotsay
Adam LaRoche
Mike Lamb
Derrek Lee
Lyle Overbay
Mike Sweeney
Fernando Tatis

From that list, two more realistic possibilities may be Kotchman (the Seminole High product), Overbay (though he made $7-million last season from the Jays) and Glaus (former Angel, Joe Maddon favorite).

Among first baseman mentioned in trade rumors are Chris Davis (Rangers), James Loney (Dodgers) and Prince Fielder (Brewers).


[Last modified: Friday, January 7, 2011 12:15am]


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