LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Chicago Cubs made one thing clear with their big free-agent signing at baseball's winter meetings Wednesday: Nobody in the majors will out-Carlos them.
The Cubs have added slugger Carlos Peña, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, on a one-season deal that pays $10 million. He gives the Cubs a power hitter with soft hands at first base who led the league in home runs in 2009 but slumped to a career-low .196 batting average this past season amid injuries.
Peña also gives the Cubs something more: Four guys named Carlos on the roster. That's twice as many as any other team in the major leagues — a factoid confirmed by @spacemnkymafia after tireless research.
How 'bout that, Charles IV?
"I think, if we bring enough Carloses in, we can actually get to where we want to go," Penã told Big League Stew. "And I think that was it! We just needed one more."
The Indians and Phillies have only two Carloses. No other club has more than one Carlos on its major league roster. A cynic might say that makes the Cubs a bunch of Sorry Charlies.
"It's great, man," he said with a laugh. "It must be a sign. We're something along the lines of Carlo Magno."
Carlo Magno is expensive, too. General manager Jim Hendry is paying the Quatro Carloses no less than $43.75 million combined — pending Marmol's deal — in 2011.
That's a lot of Chuck.
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