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San Diego Padres Give Wily Mo Pena A Chance

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJuly 20, 2010

NEW YORK - MAY 14:  Wily Mo Pena #26 of the Washington Nationals reacts after striking out in the fifth inning against the New York Mets on May 14, 2008 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

I mentioned earlier that the Padres have locked up manager Bud Black, so let’s stick with the Padres here for a minute. Not only am I going to talk about the Padres, but I am going to talk about one of my less than stellar predictions in my baseball life.

When the Boston Red Sox traded Bronson Arroyo to the Cincinnati Reds for Wily Mo Pena in the spring of 2006, I thought it was a great trade for the Red Sox. My rationale? The Red Sox traded a starter that they didn’t need at the time for a right-handed version of David Ortiz.

Ummm yeah, I really don’t brag about this one too much as you could imagine.

Despite hitting .301 with 11 HR’s in 276 AB’s for the Red Sox in 2006, Pena was traded tp the Washington Nationals in August of the next year and never fulfilled my prophecy of becoming the next Ortiz.

Arroyo on the other hand, has gone on to become one of the most reliable pitchers in the NL, pitching over 200 innings each of his four years in a Reds’ uniform. In his first four years with the Reds, Arroyo has averaged a WAR of 3.2, which puts him between a solid starter and an All-Star caliber player.

In the four years since that trade, Wily Mo has been traded again, released twice, and hasn’t played in a major league game since he hit .205 in 195 AB’s with the Nationals in 2008.

Despite not playing at the major league level in two years, Pena is getting another chance. The Padres signed Pena to a minor league contract yesterday. He was playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Independent League.

Pena was hitting .310 with eight home runs and a .337 OBP in 155 AB’s for Bridgeport. I guess when you are still only 28 years old and can hit a baseball 450 ft on occasion, you will always be given a chance.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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