August 17, 2007

Wily Mo Better Be Good News

Lord, Jim Bowden loves him some Toolsy Former Reds Outfielders, don't he? Media out of Boston is reporting (and the Nats now confirm) that Trader Jim has snagged OF Wily Mo Pena and cash from the Red Sox for the ever popular PTBNL (player to be named later.) Might this be the first use of the Nats much ballyhooed newfound minor league pitching depth?

Here's what we know about
Wily Mo: he's big, still youngish (just about to turn 26), slugged the crap out of the ball in the Great American Matchbox in Cincy, and is currently having an abysmal year as the 3rd/4th outfielder in Boston, and is eligible for his 2nd year of arbitration in the offseason. Sounds like your typical Jim Bowden reclamation project.

It should go without saying that Wily Mo is not an elite defensive outfielder, though he's not terrible either. But he's definitely here for his bat. He may also be here because of Austin Kearn's cramping/hamstring/knee injury. If he's not replacing Austin his acquisition causes something of a logjam in the corner outfield. If Pena is here, he's playing, so the question is whether he pushes Church to the bench or Church slides over to center field and bumps out teh Nook. We should know soon enough. Pena probably won't be here for tonight's game, but he should be around in time to start tomorrow for Lincoln bobblehead night.

JimBo has coveted Pena forever, so when Wily Mo cleared waivers earlier this month the question was not if this deal would get done, but when, and for what. And the what really is the key element. The whole point of building up farm system depth is to be able to trade for major league talent, but Pena is 2-3 years removed from being a hot prospect. He's basically been reduced to a spare part on a contending Red Sox team. So I hope Trader Jim didn't let his lust for former Reds get the better of him. It's fine to give up a talented minor leaguer, just don't sell the farm.

In the meantime, Washington Welcomes Wily Mo!

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