Crawford, Pena & Soriano

Below is a list of some of the top free agents. Three names I hope the Cubs would target are Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Rafael Soriano. Coincidentally, they’re all former Tampa Bay Rays.

Crawford, 28, is a four-time All Star and coming off a career year in Tampa Bay. He’s one of the true stars of the game but has been overlooked playing in small-market Tampa.

A rare five tool player, Carl would not only add much needed speed to the Cubs lineup, but would thrive both offensively and defensively in little ol’ Wrigley.

The realistic chance of signing him, however, would be a financially miracle.

Pena would be a short-term fix at first base. At 32 he’s still a legitimate offensive threat from the left side of the plate. He’s also a former Gold Glove winner at first (2008).

His power numbers and RBI have remained constant since smacking 46 HR and 121 RBI in 2007, but his overall average, however, has been on the decline during this same period hitting .247, .227 and .196.

Those numbers make Pena more affordable, but also leave him as a dangerous risk or tremendous reward.

Rafael Soriano would be a terrific set-up man for Carlos Marmol. He’s a power-arm the Cubs need and has posted an ERA less than 3.00 over his last six seasons.

Chicago struggled mightily last season getting the ball to Marmol, which quickly landed the Cubs near the bottom of the NL Central.

Sean Marshall did a decent job but is better suited for a lefty specialist role. Esmailin Caridad had his chance last year and blew it. And Angel Guzman is no guarantee to get off the training table.

There’s zero chance the Cubs sign all three. But if I had to choose one, I’d take Soriano’s arm.


  • Cliff Lee
  • Carl Crawford
  • Jayson Werth
  • Magglio Ordonez
  • Carlos Pena
  • Paul Konerko
  • Victor Martinez
  • Hideki Matsui
  • Rafael Soriano


Filed under Cubs Blog

5 responses to “Crawford, Pena & Soriano

  1. Douglas Heeren

    Pena might be worth a shot at the right price. Carl Crawford will want too much money and Soriano bothers me. I really don’t like his mechanics and think he could be at risk for an injury soon. I go to this web site called the pitching mechanic or He predicted Strassburgs injury. I have watched alot of video and have formed some opinions on certain pitchers. The pitching professor is a good site also. Obviously, I still pitch and coach pitchers.

  2. bullpenbrian

    Had no idea you’re a pitcher, and a coach.
    Please tell us more!
    Great site, by the way. Never heard of it before.
    DVDs look really interesting.
    Could go a long way to improving my left-handed ’16-inch Chicago softball swing:)

  3. Douglas Heeren

    I play amatuer league baseball here in South Dakota and coach a few legion and teener kids. Mostly, I teach them to throw one seam and two seam sinkers and how and when to “spot” the four seam fastball. As a change up I teach the palm ball or the pitch fork, which is a three finger changeup. A few of the older kids learn the slider/cutter. I am not much of a believer in the curve. The slider is easier to learn and harder to hit if you are looking fastball all the time. But, a good hard sinker is the best pitch. I mean the one that runs in and down to right hand batters. I also teach a one seam fastball(index finger on seam with a seam to the left of the index finger, kind of a cross between a two seam and four seam fastball). If throw properly, the one seam fastball breaks late down and in to a left hand batter(throw by a right hand pitcher). It’s not like a slider, it dives late. Now for me, I throw a screwball and a forkball also. So I have two different pitches that break down and in to a lefty, two different pitchers that break down and in to a righty and I throw a 65mph forkball as a changeup. My best four seam fastball is about 80-82 mph. Not bad for a 48 yr old pitching in a amatuer league. I bat left handed and throw right.

  4. bullpenbrian

    Nice scouting report. You seem to be a tough out all around!
    Glad you’re holding off teaching the curve ball to our youth.
    It’s awfully tough on the elbow, which hurts a lot of young arms.
    Always wondered why more coaches don’t teach the knuckleball?
    And what’s you take on pitch counts for teens?

  5. Douglas Heeren

    We really don’t have pitch counts for teens. When their mechanics start breaking down from fatigue, they start walking batters and then it’s time to get them out of the game. So many kids today play several sports so they don’t really throw year-a-round. Not throwing at least a couple of times a week in the off season is a mistake. Young kids will only learn from correct practice over and over and over. I used to have coaches claim that the splitter was worse on the elbow than the curve. I have thrown a forkball for over 30 years and I have never thrown a curve, I threw a screwball, sinker, forkball and palmball in high school and picked up the slider at age 19 for amateur league. My elbow is fine. I do have two kids that throw a version of the knuckleball. One off of the fingertips and the other digs his knuckles into the ball. Both of these guys are over 18 and also throw the forkball, but oddly, neither can throw much of a curve.

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