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Home » 2006 NewsMarch 2006 » A Peña For Your Thoughts

A Peña For Your Thoughts

Even when Bronson Arroyo signed his contract extension back in January for a bargin price there was a sense it wasn’t for keeps but for positioning. The three-year, $11.5M contract, which was signed against his agent’s wishes, made Arroyo too tasty a morsel for baseball’s first team to resist. This morning, the Red Sox traded the right-handed pitcher for the powerful, 24-year old, right-handed right fielder Wily Mo Peña, now officially a former Red.

In my opinion, the Red Sox got the better end of the deal. The general rule is not to trade a pitcher for a position player. In this instance, however, the age of the players and the probable trajectory of their worth override conventional wisdom. Furthermore, a few of the more pressing needs of the teams were satisfied, and, in the Red Sox’s case, the future of the outfield assumed a younger, healthier aspect.

The oft-injured Trot Nixon needs an insurance policy and platoon mate, and Peña fits the bill. According to Peter Gammons in his Insider column, Austin Kearns or Adam Dunn would have cost at least a touted pitching prospect like Jon Lester, if not more. But they were willing to part with Peña for Arroyo and $1.5M.

I wonder if the Reds considered that Arroyo is trending towards more and more flyball outs as he ages and that Great American Ball Park is more of a home run park than Fenway. It may have worked into the equation, but, in Cincinnati’s estimation, the paucity of pitching and Pearl Jam cover bands in their town prevailed.

This trade overshadows and probably renders further irrelevent the signing of Juan Gonzalez to a minor league contract. He’s a shell of himself now; the impressive production he generated from 1992 to 2001 compared to his abrupt decline appears suspicious. I was shocked his team picture actually captured a look of levity.

Johnny Pesky, who is never short on smiles, had his leg broken by a foul liner this past Saturday. It was the one time he didn’t have his eye on the ball. Pesky plans to make the Red Sox home opener on April 11 regardless of the injury. Get well soon, Mr. Red Sox.


I am incredibly excited to see Wily Mo bat in Fenway (that dude's neck alone could slug .400). My thoughts are that by 2007, this deal will be looking mighty sweet for us.

(UOI 1 Pena)

NU50, I won't pena-lize you for not making up a new pun.

(Turn away from the screen if you don't want to read boring fantasy baseball talk.)
I'm actually surprised I'm not more emotional about Arroyo's parting. I think it is because I intellectually accepted it at the moment he signed that discount contract. This detachment combined with the fact that I had both Peña and Arroyo on my fantasy teams deadened the blow. I had to shore up my outfield since Peña will now be platooning as well as decide whether or not to keep Arroyo.

I traded Peña for Baldelli, which is basically my bet that the chances of Baldelli's recovery are better than Nixon getting injured again.

I'll keep Arroyo around for now, although his increasing tendency to get flyball outs won't fly well... or rather will fly well, all too well, at Great American Ball Park. Perhaps this will be a wash with pitching to pitchers.

You wanna know what's funny? I think I took the Bronson trade a thousand times better than most of my friends did. I mean I kinda expected it anyway, I just wished it was a year later. But with Wily Mo, you hafta make that deal. Wily Mo's got potential to be something awesome.

Though a lot of people I talked to who are Red Sox fans who weren't like super Bronson fans were like "I never realized how attached I am to him" It's funny really...

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