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.