The Cubs met with Pena's agent, Scott Boras, on Monday night. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry brought along former Boras client and future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, who is an advisor to Hendry. Maddux sat across the table from Boras, who represented the former pitcher for 20 years.
"Over the years, Scott and I have done a lot of deals together," Hendry said. "At the same time, we've walked away from a lot of deals, too, so we have a good, honest working relationship."
According to the sources, the two sides talked parameters of a contract, and Pena's camp is looking for a two- or three-year deal for the 33-year-old slugger.
Pena had a star-crossed season in 2010, hitting 28 home runs with 84 RBIs but hitting a career-low .196 and striking out 158 times in 484 at-bats.
Pena, who has a reputation as being a good clubhouse presence, would solve two problems for the Cubs: He would give them a left-handed power presence in the lineup next to Aramis Ramirez, and he is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman.
According to a physical report, Pena, who had plantar fasciitis last season, has recovered from the condition.
Former Arizona Diamondback first baseman Adam LaRoche, a free agent as well, would be the fall-back plan if something isn't worked out with Pena, according to a major league source.
The Cubs are also considering moving outfielder Tyler Colvin to first base on a part-time or full-time basis.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.