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Cubs Rumors: Carlos Pena Trade Imminent?

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According to a tweet from SI.com's Jon Heyman, the Cubs' Carlos Pena "will surely be moved" before the trade deadline at the end of the month. The SI scribe added that Arizona could be a key player there.

Pena, 33, was signed to a one-year deal over the offseason in the hopes of rebounding from a rough 2010 with Tampa Bay. For the most part the veteran slugger has, posting a .221/.334/.445 line with 21 homers in 378 plate appearances, including a more robust .236/.346/.512 line since the beginning of May. At this point, Carlos Beltran is probably the only other bat on the market that can offer similar middle-of-the-order power.

As for the Diamondbacks, they're currently using Brandon Allen at first base, but given the number of guys they've shuttled through the position this season they're clearly unsatisfied with their options. Pena could be a good fit as a stopgap, allowing the club to give top prospect Paul Goldschmidt the job in 2012.

Pena is arguably Chicago's best trade chip at this point given the ridiculous reports that Sean Marshall and Jeff Baker aren't going anywhere. Given that guys like Carlos Marmol and Geovany Soto are likely not being discussed much either, that limits Chicago's trade talks to expensive veterans that often retain no-trade clauses. Among those guys, Pena is probably the one with the most value at this point. Earlier this month, I checked out the players that could potentially replace Pena at first base for the Cubs this season.