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Wily Mo Pena And The Padres?

Buster Olney had an intriguing thought in his blog yesterday.  The Padres' bullpen is a source of strength, but they've got a lefty-heavy lineup and are tenth in the league in slugging.  How about Wily Mo Pena to the Padres for a top shelf reliever, maybe Scott Linebrink

I know what you're thinking - the Red Sox have the best relief ERA in the league.  OK, maybe you weren't thinking that.  I had to look it up.  But Boston's relief success has been reliant on two players - Jonathan Papelbon and Hideki Okajima.  Are the Sox confident that this pair will remain healthy and effective all year? 

Wily Mo is an unfortunate story.  The 25 year-old has prodigious power and should be entering the prime of his career, but his development has been trifled with.  He essentially skipped Triple A, and now the Red Sox can barely find at-bats for him.  Pena's comparables list is littered with names like Frank Howard, Matt Holliday, Dale Murphy, Jay Buhner, Jesse Barfield, and Richie Sexson.  Pena is a 40 homer season waiting to happen.  He won't find an opportunity in Boston unless Manny Ramirez is traded.

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I mean I do not think you could find a better match for kevin towers, makes perfect sense, and he is a cheap player, meaning they will still have that money to go after a big free agent. On the other hand, if i am theo epstein, I have Bill Stoneman on speed dial and am taking master manipulation courses. The angels have an even bigger need for power, and scot shields is a more validated reliever than linebrink. The obvious crux to this plan is the fact that the sox do not want to strengthen any playoff contenders. However, If i am epstein, I have every national league gm on speed dial, in a attempt to start a bidding war for pena, a young guy who could be a great slugger for the next 10 to 15 years when not blocked.

I'm not quite sure Pena is going to set off a bidding war - granted he's got a great bat but his defense is attrocious and without the comfort of a DH spot, you'd be hard pressed to put him out in the field everyday. But if the Angels do pass on him, or the White Sox, Orioles or Rangers for that matter, the Padres do seem like a good fit. Though I believe Towers came out recently stating that he doesn't want to deal of his 25 man roster, and that a AAA arm such as Andrew Brown might be a more pallatable option.

Touche on the point about the d, but I think the deeper we get into the summer, the more teams will be willing to sacrifice a lil d for some big O, and I mean big in the form of WILY MO

I agree with you there - especially when you're the Padres and second last in BA to the Nationals, and your leftfielder is Jose Cruz Jr.

I think you guys are seriously overvaluing Willy Mo - he has potential, but he is still VERY raw, and I don't think he is worth a reliever of the caliber of Linebrick, let alone Shields. Yes, he could end up hitting 30-40 home runs consistently, but he could also wind up striking out 170 times consistently. And we already know that his defense will be consistently atrocious. I just don't think his upside is worth risking someone like Linebrick on, and I can't imagine that Willy Mo would be the best they could get for him. Of the two of them, Linebrick is the one who could set off a bidding war, not Willy Mo.

A setup man is always worth a potential 30-40 annual homerun producer, especially when the padres have three other guys who could be a setup guy. The reason that we are overvaluing wily mo is because that is exactly what happens when a team has a great need for power, you overvalue the rest of a player's skills because you focus only on the power production. When Roto says, " a position of strength" that means that a team can afford to lose one of the members that form that position of strength in order to gain a potential solution to a problem that could hinder the overall team's playoff chances. Scott Linebrink is from the Padre's bullpen, their position of strength, and if traded, he should go for wily mo or a similar alternative, a solution to the lack of power that may keep the padres from clicking. However, one thing is for certain, If i am the padres, I worry less about power and focus more on a high average top of the order guy.

Towers values Linebrink almost to a fault. But then again, why would you risk a proven commodity over a raw talent who is probably a worse outfielder than David Ortiz? San Diego could use a power bat, but one that actually has a modicum of talent at defense. It would take more than Wily Mo to pry Linebrink away from Towers. Think more along the lines of Wily Mo and someone they can actually use.

Plus, Boston knows it traded Bronson Arroyo, one of the best pitchers in the NL now, for Wily Mo. They won't just turn around, admit failure, and turn that investment into Scott Linebrink. Both teams value their pieces more than they should, but Towers is a bit too smart to fall for the every-player-in-the-Boston-system- is-golden hoopla that's bandied around these parts.

Also, keep one more thing in mind: if there is one park that plays to all of Wily Mo's weaknesses, it is Petco park. Yes, he hits for power, but the park will keep a significant number of those fly balls in play. Yes, he plays bad defense, and that aspect of his game will only be magnified in Petco's expansive outfield. So in moving to San Diego, not only would he not be able to bash pitches off the green monster in short left field, but he also would have to cover a lot more ground than a player of his defensive caliber should be expected to.

You're right bravesbeat, a high average guy with decent speed and plays good defense would serve them much better than a potential power hitter who isn't exceptionally fast and has a poor glove. Even if they ranked such a player lower on their board, he should be able to help them out a lot more due to the park they're playing in.

I know Wily Mo isn't a gold glover in the outfield, but last year when he got consistent playing time, he was a good CF for the Sox. I attended many games and watch just about all of the others and Wily Mo has great potential and needs a chance to play every day. San Diego would be a good match, because the Sox do need a RH setup man and the Pads have Cla Merideth to step in for Linebrink. If Wily Mo played every day this year, he'd hit 30 hrs. Sure, he'll botch some balls in the outfield, but the Sox have shown that it can work (Manny). Not that Wily Mo will have the same offensive production as Manny, but it is a reasonable comparison where a team sacrifices in the field for some major production.

Well, I guess we will never agree. You all make valid points, I just think that if you have an overkill in the pen, you jump at the opportunity to trade one of those pieces off for a guy with the power potential that Wily mo has. All i know is, i am ready for us to have another three game sweep of the phillies,

How about Willy Mo to Minn for a decent RP and maybe a prospect? Not too familiar with Twins - Rincon maybe?

Theo could snag some of the solid RP's Kevin has stashed away in AAA. Andrew Brown & Royce Ring would be a nice bounty. It would make sense for the Padres to include Terrmel Sledge but I don't know if the BoSox need another left-handed outfielder with Hinske playing so well. Maybe Kevin parts with Brown and Ring and swings Sledge somewhere for another AAA reliever. Jose Cruz Jr. is having a solid year but he'd be best as strictly a 4th outfielder. They're relying on him too much right now. Having Wily Mo in LF would let the Padres go after a big bat in CF this off-season.

I'm not sure the Padres want an intriguing big bat with awful defense. They already had one- Jack Cust. Wily Mo should be a DH somewhere.

I do not have a subscription to the baseball prospectus site, but I could definitely see Wily Mo putting up numbers closer to andruw jones, the .260-.270, 35-45, 105-125 rbi guy who has very frustrating cold streaks and unreal hot streaks, and all the while setting franchise records a few times for most strikeouts in a season. As is the cast a lot of times, premium power does come with a price.

Does anyone think that with more time wily mo could overtake manny when hes tradebait in his final year? His strikeouts should decrease while his walkrate will increase like it has in the past few games. Not to mention he atleast hustles and playing left full time may be best for wily mo if he has to play somewhere. He is only 25, there is no reason to give up on him early. I may be one of the few red sox fans to like pena but being so young with a team that has an older power corps he could be the future.

I agree that another arm in the BP is needed. Maybe not now, but it's something that should happen.

I'd like to see Crisp go. Hell even if he was to be packaged with a prospect. I'm not expecting linebrick back for crisp, but to be honest I wouldnt really expect much out of linebrick in the AL East.


I guess all I'm saying is keep WMP

Linebrink is overrated. Look at the ERA he posted last year, he's 31, what's he going to post in the AL in a less friendly park? Nothing top notch I imagine.

Pena is also overrated on here. Instead of Hall of Famers for his comparables, how about Russell Branyan? Except Pena doesn't even seem to walk as much as Branyan. Is possible 40 HR power that hard to find? You could've just dug up Tony Batista or Brad Eldred or Branyan.

Pena isn't really young 25 is young, 5th year MLB service is not, and he is getting near 2million, not the cheapest guy out there.

If WMP could just field, he would easily but traded, because teams could take the risk for the blade knowing he at least contributed something, but he doesn't.

Hitting isn't there, and his hitting, and all the strike outs is FAR better than his fielding.

What team in their mind would trade a valuable guy for WMP, to pay WMP 2million+ a year in HOPE that he turns into something.

Plenty a AA kid that could do more than that for one-eighth the price.

Sammy Sosa - even a few older guys you get more from for less.

"What team in their mind would trade a valuable guy for WMP, to pay WMP 2million+ a year in HOPE that he turns into something."

The Red Sox would.

ok who ever just said WMP hits "fly-balls" should sit down have you seen him hit b4? never seen so much power behind a bat before. those arent "fly ball" home runs they are ouch that had to hurt, rails to the outfield. the twins are a great fit so are the A's. he should be a DH somewhere and both of those clubs lack power. hes like David Ortiz light. he just crushes the ball the fast ball that is he realy got screwed over by not going threw a system and has lack of plate discipline to prove it.

The Pads will not go for WMP. If we wanted a big bat, we would have stuck Cust out there instead of trading him away. And we already have a big bat on our bench that plays left field, Russell Branyan! The last couple games I have been to, pregame-wise I have seen Branyan take more fly balls than grounders since there is no way he will take Kouz out of the lineup. Just everyone wait, once Giles officially hits the DL and sledge keeps sucking, Branyan will be in left with cruz staying in right.

Also, what do you guys honestly think it would take to land crawford? I know the padres would NEVER do it, but I would be so happy I would cry. Two MLB ready starters and a couple pitching prospects? I know this will never happy so don't everyone say "in your dreams!" and other rude stuff. I'm just seeing what everyone thinks. And yes, it would be in my dreams.

I love seeing the Padres fans mentioning Jack Cust as on option. Cust is horribly unathletic. Wily Mo Pena is athletic but his jumps in the outfield are horrible. That's why he appears to be more servicable in CF than a corner is he sees the ball off the bat better. His defensive insticts suck but the only way they're going to improve is with more consistant playing time. When he makes contact, he crushes the ball. If he stopped using such a huge bat, I think that'd help cut down on his strike outs. He's got the size to generate enough power on his own without having to a swing a tree to put one in the seats.

Hypothetically, the way the Padres match up with the Sox for a WMP trade would be with one of the Padres young 3B paired with a reliever. The Padres have Headley, Antonelli, and Kouzmanoff all projecting to the same positon and they could afford to move one for some additional power. Considering the Sox were rumored to have had strong interest in Antonelli before the draft last season, I could see that name being mentioned.

Anybody know the specifics on Wily Mo's D-fense when he played a regular basis last year? I'm pretty sure his Warp-3 was like 3 something, He is a truly undervalued player in all aspects of the game. This coming from someone who wants him to stop taking a roster spot in Boston as quick as humanly possible.

I ask, who cares how far he can "crush" the ball when he doesn't make contact so often? Do long home runs count for more than short home runs or something? Remember when the Red Sox were going to fix him like David Ortiz? Pena has struck out 20 times in 52 ABs! Do people not realize how crazy that is? Hello? He's made NO progress since 2004. Wily Mo Pena is the new Hee Seop Choi, for years people just would not stop talking about how Choi was such a sleeper and all he needed was a chance, and his comparables, and blah blah blah blah.

Does anyone realize Pena has already acquired a lot of service time and if he does break out, you'll have to pay him a lot of money in a year and a half anyway?

I've seen stranger things than Pena becoming a star, but I think people are overthinking this. Remember in 2000 when Russell Branyan hit 16 home runs in 193 ABs?

" Pena is a 40 homer season waiting to happen."
He will NEVER get enough playing time to hit 40. Boston has no use for him. His bad attitude and work work ethic makes him a team liabilty. He's never amount to anything.

" Pena is a 40 homer season waiting to happen."
You have got to be kidding!
He will NEVER get enough playing time to hit 40. Boston has no use for him. His bad attitude and shitty work ethic makes him a team liabilty. He'll never amount to anything.

WMP manning center field in petco? What I've viewed here is that WMP is a bad to average defender, which would kill our teams ERA if we throw him in center. Cammeron is a vaccum out there! Well not as much this season...

WMP manning center field in petco? What I've viewed here is that WMP is a bad to average defender, which would kill our teams ERA if we throw him in center. Cammeron is a vaccum out there! Well not as much this season...

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