The Yankees claimed Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena on waivers, but a deal is unlikely, according to major-league sources.
Pena’s .792 OPS and 23 home runs in 404 at-bats make him attractive to the Yankees, who would use him as a left-handed hitting DH.
Still, Pena would not represent a significant offensive upgrade over Jorge Posada, a switch-hitter. Pena’s OPS against right-handers is .865; Posada’s is .828.
Pena, though, would be a stronger defensive backup to first baseman Mark Teixeira than anyone currently on the Yankees' roster.
In any case, the entire discussion might be pointless. The Cubs, sources say, are reluctant to trade Pena, a potential free agent, and likely will pull him back from waivers.
While the Cubs could save approximately $1.667 million by trading Pena, they want to keep their options at first base open for next season.
By retaining Pena, they would maintain exclusive negotiating rights to him before he hit free agency, leaving the decision to their next general manager.
The Cubs could always re-sign Pena as a free agent even if they traded him. But some club officials believe their chances might be greater if they kept him for the rest of the season.
The deadline for the Cubs to make a decision is 1 p.m. ET on Friday.