It’s official: The Chicago Cubs have signed left-handed first baseman Carlos Pena to a one-year, $10 million deal, something that will likely make a lot of Cubs fans happy and confused at the same time.

While this certainly isn’t a long-term fix, considering that Pena is 33, the Cubs could really benefit from his services for the year.

For one, he easily tops the other two true first basemen on the roster (Micah Hoffpauir and Xavier Nady) with 28 home runs and 84 RBI in 484 at-bats, a fairly impressive mark. Pena is also still a Gold Glove-caliber fielder. The Cubs really needed the defensive help.

Pena also gives the Cubs a valued asset in that he adds another left-handed power-hitting presence alongside third baseman Aramis Ramirez. While their ability to score has been decent, adding another lefty presence in the lineup simply adds another dimension to their game.

In spite of all of this, though, there are still some scary knocks against Pena.

For one, his injury situation from last year may cause some to question this pickup. Pena sat for a good while last year due to a torn plantar fascia, and while that doesn’t tend to be a recurring problem (given the proper time to heal), the fact that he is 33 and showing signs of injury issues should be a little intimidating for the Cubs brass.

Pena also had a tough year statistically last season. Sure, he may have put 28 over the wall and brought 84 players home, but he ended up with a career low .196 batting average and he struck out 158 times in 484 at bats.

It’s hard to know how this one will turn out.

For the price they are paying for him, the Cubs may be getting a deal. He adds a lot of dimensions to their game that will play well for Chicago. However, it seems to me that the risks may outweigh the benefits here.

Should Pena go down with another injury, he becomes useless. Should he slug another sub-.200 season, he will only hamper the Cubs offensively.

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