It's been awhile since he's seen time in the big leagues, but after a strong finish to 2010 with San Diego's Triple-A affiliate in Portland, five teams have expressed interest in Wily Mo Pena, MLBTR has learned.
Pena, 29 in January, was once a top prospect with the Yankees and the Reds. In 2004, the right-handed slugger belted 24 home runs as a 22-year-old and notched an impressive .843 OPS. Injuries limited his playing time in 2005, but he still hit 19 homers in just 335 plate appearances.
In 2006, he was traded to Boston for Bronson Arroyo, where he hit .301/.349/.489 over 304 plate appearances. Wrist surgery and other injuries limited Pena's playing time again that year, and he started off slowly the following year in 2007. He was then traded to Washington for a player to be named later.
Pena's time with the Nats got off to a great start, as he hit .293/.352/.504 with eight home runs over 145 plate appearances to close out the 2007 season. He started off terribly in 2008, however, hitting just .205/.243/.267, and hasn't appeared in the Majors since.
Power is always a hot commodity, and Pena's most recent stint in the minors saw the thunder that once made him a coveted prospect return. He raked to the tune of a .324/.390/.556 line with nine home runs in 159 plate appearances and has caught the attention of teams in both leagues. Pena also saw time at first base in 2010, which could appeal to potential suitors.
Injuries and inconsistency have always plagued the slugger, but Pena's power provides a great deal of upside with minimal risk.