Whatever slim chance the Rays had of bringing back 1B Carlos Pena apparently are gone as Pena has agreed on a one-year deal with the Cubs for what is believed to be $10-million, according to mlb.com.
There's not much else we can say at this point, except goodbye Pena and good luck. We're all impressed that he managed to get $10M on the free agent market - and disappointed that he didn't fall to us - but Pena moving on is probably for the best. The AL East had begun to figure out how to attack his aging bat by shifting dramatically against him; add in his career high 44.9% groundball rate in 2010, and it resulted in a batting average below the Mendoza Line and a Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) that barely cracked league-average (.328, league-average was .321). Pena could have an outstanding year next season if he starts hitting more flyballs again - especially considering the "cozy confines" of Wrigley - but at $10M, he wasn't worth the risk for the Rays.
That said, I have plenty of cherished memories of Pena, and I'll sorely miss his smile and positive attitude. He's one of the nicest guys in baseball, so I'm glad he's succeeding and getting paid well. Best of luck to you, Carlos!
For more on Pena's departure, check out Jason Collette's analysis at Dock of the Rays and ESPN 1040.