Bronson for Wily Mo

With Coco hitting about .500 in spring training, Theo is moving ahead with the outfield youth program in Boston, acquiring former Yanks farmhand and “tools freak” Willy Mo Pena from Cinci—and for the low, low price of Bronson Arroyo. Ostensibly he’ll platoon with Trot in right, but he can cover center if the Sox choose to move Manny and put Coco in his natural LF. Interesting move, to say the least. Pena has speed and pop, along with a checkered history.

24 comments… add one
  • Also, in his last 650 AB, he’s hit as many homeruns as Manny, Ortiz, or A-Rod. With the abundance of SP’s in camp right now, I’m okay with this. I’d rather they trade Arroyo than Clement. Willie Mo strikes out too much for me, but I think it’s a good move for a Trot platoon.
    EEI is also reporting that the Sox are in talks for a bullpen guy from Philly for Morh now.

    Brad March 20, 2006, 12:22 pm
  • Oh, and they are saying that he can play a little first base, which could be handy.

    Brad March 20, 2006, 12:23 pm
  • Do you pronounce it ‘Willy Mo’ or “Wiley Mo’ (as in Wile E. Coyote)?
    And he doesn’t really kill LH pitching any more than Stern, Mohr, or Gonzalez does, so the perfect Trot platooner he is not. Are we looking to trade 3 of our 4 fourth outfielders to some team that doesn’t have an outfield at all, but does have something we really need?
    And just to clear things, it was Arroyo and CASH for Pena. Yeah.

    rk March 20, 2006, 12:28 pm
  • That would be my guess. Bullpen Bullpen Bullpen.

    Brad March 20, 2006, 12:37 pm
  • No, I think Pena’s in Boston to stay. His upside is huge in terms of power (think Sosa), and he can play multiple positions. That makes him an excellent bench addition (and a big advantage over the Yanks on that front). As Dayn Perry writes in his new book “Winners,” slugging, bench strength, and maneuverability are key components of championship contenders. So this could be a very nice move, and with Lester and Papelbon and Delcarmen lying around, the Sox can afford to move Arroyo.

    YF March 20, 2006, 12:45 pm
  • The guy’s stats from the DR this winter are pretty darn good, and his stats this ST are just as good. When he learns the strike zone, which he will no doubt do under Papa Jack, it could be nice.

    Brad March 20, 2006, 12:54 pm
  • Also, if you look at the stats of the guys under the age of 25 (Wright, Seizmore…) most of his stats are right up there with any of them and ESPN scouting report says that his power is untapped and unbelievable.
    Maybe I’m trying too hard to convince myself that this is a good move for the Sox. I like Bronson, and I’m never ever a fan of trading pitching.

    Brad March 20, 2006, 1:02 pm
  • RK –
    He hit .291 against southpaws, and .234 against righties. That’s pretty good lefty average for a guy who’s so young.

    Brad March 20, 2006, 1:17 pm
  • yankees are better than any other team…..they will kick everyone elses asses…..yankees rule

    daryl March 20, 2006, 1:40 pm
  • good comment, daryl. thanks for adding to the site.

    mattymatty March 20, 2006, 1:45 pm
  • RK,
    As Brad said, his splits show he hits lefties very well. The numbers he gave are for ’05. In ’04, he hit .302 v. lefties as opposed to .244 against righties.
    What does the trade do? Its gives the Sox power off the bench. It gives them a player to platoon with Trot when lefties throw. The guy has decent speed and a cannon for an arm. He could well be the Sox rightfielder of the future.
    He does strike out way too much though, but Papa Jack will take care of that.

    Craig March 20, 2006, 1:50 pm
  • Interesting. I confess to know very little about Wily Mo, but I do like the name, so that’s something. It sounds as if Theo is taking another calculated risk here, and it seems quite smartly calculated, considering the strengths he was dealing from. Arroyo’s hideous spring training may mean nothing, but he was definitely struggling mightily and Pena fills an important slot, with significant potential at that. Like any move we’ll have to wait and see how the guy pans out, but we don’t have much beef with the concept, especially not with Pena’s massive power upside, in Fenway at that.
    (As an aside, I’ll predict that an over/under of 6 comments from now until someone chimes in with a Red Sox worst-case-scenario thought, or someone comments about how us Sox fans have nothing but crazy love for Theo…)

    SF March 20, 2006, 3:02 pm
  • Some of Theo’s thoughts on the deal here.

    SF March 20, 2006, 3:07 pm
  • Could this be “The Day the Music Died” in Bean town?

    walein March 20, 2006, 3:23 pm
  • I’m just trying to imagine his expectant parents tossing around baby names, and one of them saying, “I’ve got it… We’ll call him Wily Mo!

    Hudson March 20, 2006, 3:31 pm
  • Okay, you caught me – didn’t do my homework. I saw a few clearly wrong ‘observations’ about his hitting vs left handers on one of those, um, other blogs that discuss the Sox from time to time.
    Goes to show you what that gets you.
    I’m happy at the addition to the team, I guess I’m just not happy about the rest of it. Goes along with the people the Pats are losing – it’s what I hate about sports. Yes, it’s a business, we all fully understand, but hey, I don’t like the cut-throat aspects of corporations either. (Go fightin’ Subarus, and Microsoft sucks? Doesn’t have the same ring to it.) Yes yes long-term interests/right for the club.
    Even if there wasn’t a gentleman’s agreement, and even if his hair was ugly, he really just loved it here, he played a huge postseason in 04, and wasn’t close to being a liability (think Millar).
    But, to cheer myself up, I envison the lack of bad covers, and all is right with the world. (How much you wanna bet he camps out outside Theo’s apartment a la Say Anything with a huge boombox blasting the Goo Goo Dolls?)

    rk March 20, 2006, 3:33 pm
  • Don’t get me wrong. While I think its a good deal because of the surplus of starting pitching, I think we’ll miss Arroyo too. He ate innings up consistently and he was as comfortable coming out of the bullpen as he was starting. He was also a good guy who genuinely liked the area.
    But it was probably the only doable deal. Clement is not likely to go anywhere because of his history of sliding in the second half and his backloaded contract. And I’d rather keep Wells if possible – rubber arm, big game pitcher, lefty and he has historically killed the Yankees. The downside, of course, is that he’s a knucklehead half the time (that and eventually age is going to catch up with him).

    Craig March 20, 2006, 3:53 pm
  • It’s a good deal no matter how you look at it. Both teams got something they needed, and neither was robbed – yet.
    If Willie Mo learns a little plate control and learns Fenway’s awkward corners it could be a great move, but for now it’s a good one.
    I read that he was signed when he was 16 and has only spent one year in minor leauge ball. That means that all he has learned, he’s done so at the best level. That’s encouraging to me.

    Brad March 20, 2006, 4:05 pm
  • I have to say…The Sox are really banking on full seasons from Beckett and Shilling and I don’t know if I’d make that bet. What’s Beckett’s avg. innings per year–140-160?
    Otherwise, it never hurts ot get younger in the outfield.

    walein March 20, 2006, 6:10 pm
  • Walein,
    I have to agree. I don’t feel the need to concern myself with Schilling, but Beckett is another story. I think he’ll spend at least one stint on the DL, and hopefully that one comes early while the pitchers are still ahead of the batters.
    I don’t worry too much about Schilling. He looks great, slimmed down, and no ankle problems as of yet. I think the entire show could depend on the likes of Foulke. With a healthy Foulke, the Sox are not forced to close with Papelbon, Riske or Timlin.
    All of the sudden, Wells has become a little more important, and I HATE that.
    Also, stronger in the outfield doesn’t hurt either.

    Brad March 20, 2006, 6:20 pm
  • Don’t feel bad about Wells becoming a little more important…he somehow has been able to find himself in that position for the past 10 years (something to do with withcraft and the Bambino).

    walein March 20, 2006, 6:51 pm
  • good deal for the Sox, and as YF alluded to, the Yanks would be well-served to follow suit. I’m just thinking about how valuable Daryl Strawberry was coming off the bench for the Bombers. Anyway, I think it was good to get rid of Arroyo now, considering that there were a lot of things portending him having a mediocre year. For one, Arroyo was probably not as good as his numbers last year (his k-rate was lower than it had been in a couple of years, he pitched out of a lot jams), and his spring training was none too encouraging.

    NickYF March 20, 2006, 6:59 pm
  • The Nationals may need an outfielder, with Soriano refusing to play there… Hmmmmm.

    Hudson March 20, 2006, 10:49 pm
  • You gotta love this.
    Bronson Arroyo shuts out the Sox on 3 hits today over 7 innings with 9 Ks.
    Meanwhile, Wily Mo was 0-3 with 2 Ks and well, to say he looked bad at the plate against Arroyo, would be a gross understatement.
    But hell, it was just one spring game, no big deal. I just couldn’t resist saying something.
    Bronson must have been pumped, before, during, and after the game.

    whatever March 30, 2006, 8:20 pm

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