March 20, 2006

Arroyo Traded To Reds for Wily Mo Pena

Shows you what I know.

While Pena has "potential", I'm concerned about his frequent strikeouts and average-at-best fielding ability (plus I remember laughing when Yankee fans would pump him up when he was in their farm system).

But knowing that Nixon will go on the DL at some point this year, and that Arroyo is pretty much a league average pitcher (ERA+ of 121 and 98 in his two full years here and he's what, our 5th or 6th starter?), I can't find much of a downside to this deal. If Pena gets playing time and can bop 30-40 or so home runs, this will be a steal.

Some Theo comments from a spot on WEEI (thanks to SoxScout at SoSH):
This guy has the potential to be middle of the lineup player. ... The track record of players this young and this powerful is very good. ... Tools are so good and development has been so hindered that he isn't even close to tapping his potential. ... We accept the fact that the strikeouts are going to come, fans need to also, but his power will make up for it. ... We are going to get him as much playing time as possible. ... This is a great situation for him with Ortiz, Ortiz spoke highly of him.
SoSHer (and Reds fan) "osuceltic":
Great raw talent. He's an absolute physical specimen. Huge and ripped. Huge hands. Good speed. Strong arm. He has off-the-charts tools. Unreal power -- when he hits them, they stay hit. ... Has worked hard to improve himself. Had one of those contracts that guaranteed him a big-league spot too early, so he really didn't get the minor league polish he needed. ...

On the negative side ... Zero plate discipline. Awful defensive outfielder, although he obviously has the tools to improve this. No "baseball sense" either in the field or on the basepaths. Injury prone ... VERY streaky. He'll go through stretches where it looks like he'll hit any pitch out of the park, and stretches where he looks like he couldn't hit the ball with a sheet of plywood. ...

I really think he needs to play every day and I'm not sure he's ready to do that in an environment like Boston (tough fans, tough city, tough division, tough outfield). He really does play like a young Sosa, but will he ever develop his tremendous potential?
Epstein also maintained there was "no-trade handshake" with Arroyo.


Zenslinger said...

I have been OK with the rapid pace of new faces on the Red Sox. It's been weird, and it hurt to lose Damon, but ultimately I understood. But this one, on an emotional level, bothers me. As far as baseball is concerned, I can't say. I mean, Arroyo had that no-loss streak through the last half of 2004. Other than that he's been stubbornly unspectacular, but -- he was our stubbornly unspectacular guy. You could really route for him knowing he wasn't a total phenom.

I don't think the angle of the Sox doing him wrong because of this gentlemen's agreement should be emphasized. If there's no no-trade clause, you can be traded. I wish the best for Pena, but...this one stings.

Jack Marshall said...

Guys: It's a great trade, period.
I'm puzzled at the bad glove talk...that's not what the ESPN Scouting report says
(it says Willy Mo has great range, a gun for an arm, and could play center), and when I saw him play right last year in DC he moved really well. But a big right-handed hitter who has 19 homers in part-time service is obviously a 40 homer level hitter. Trot is in a free-agent year, the Sox couldn't hit lefties last season, Arroyo was ticketed for the bullpen, where his value could ony decrease during the season. Willy Mo is young and developing...I think we know what we'll get from Bronson: a mid-rotation 13-15 games when he gets the runs to work with. Papelpon, Becket and Clement have better upsides, Wake, Wells and Schilling have to start. It's a no-brainer, and it improves the team, the outfield, the bench, the power.

From the Vined Smithy said...

Feel bad for Bronson if he really wanted to stick in Boston (really seems like he did), but them's the breaks, buddy. Get it in writing. (I actually don't feel that flippant about it...but the truth is he was ripe for the tradin'.)

He hits .300+ and .290+ against lefties in the past couple seasons?! It''s perfect. If he can gain some plate discipline while retaining the power goodness.

Worth it now (who's long relief? DiNardo? Papelbon?), and could be a blockbuster down the line.

Anonymous said...

The guy's only 24 and yet there are already comparisons with Mark Bellhorn; give me a break - this guy could be another Ortiz.

I feel bad for Bronson I really do but it would still have happened if he'd just taken arbitration - he just looks stupid for taking the contract.