Reds - General

Wily Mo Pena to the Sox for Bronson Arroyo

Just saw this published on and the Reds website.

My optimism for the new GM and ownership group just left!

44 thoughts on “Wily Mo Pena to the Sox for Bronson Arroyo

  1. I’m not all that enthused. Trading a potential 50-HR guy, even if imperfect, for a league-average starter (at best), doesn’t impress. And where’s Arroyo going to pitch? Wilson’s going to be healthy at some point, and then what? Finally, this presumably means Dunn back to LF and Hatteberg/Aurilia at 1b – something less productive than Sean Casey. Or… Womack in LF?!??

  2. BTW, Arroyo just signed a 3 year, $12M contract this off-season, so he’s reasonably priced.

  3. Please. We had one of the highest scoring offenses in the league last year, and what did it get us? Arroyo is a decent, if imperfect, pitcher, and hopefully some of these games will be 6-4 wins instead of 7-9 losses.

  4. Interesting comment on about the state of the rotation:

    “Arroyo, who went 14-10 with a 4.51 ERA in 32 starts and three relief appearances in 2005, joins right-hander Aaron Harang and lefties Eric Milton and Brandon Claussen in the Cincinnati rotation.”

    No mention of Williams or Wilson in the rotation.

  5. Glad they’re going to throw Williams into the garbage based on a few (crappy) ST outings.

  6. Perhaps Williams becomes the LOOGY?

    2006: The Year of Second Basemen and #4 Starting Pitchers.

    (What happens when AK and JR go down with injuries?)

  7. Not sure what threat Wilson coming back poses to anyone with an ERA under 6 in the rotation.

  8. Told ya Reds management wasn’t happy with Pena & the WBC🙂.

    Seriously, you hope that they realized that Williams is a better option than Milton, no matter how much $$ they’re paying him and/or they put Wilson in the pen and let him work on arm strength from there.

  9. If Wilson ever wins 10 games again for the Reds I’ll eat my hat between two pieces of bread. He’s toast. And it’s looking increasingly like Milton may be toast as well.

    Pena was the best trade bait the Reds had with the least amount of real damage to the team. He’ll look great dropping pop flys in Fenway. Point: Reds management.

  10. I’m having a hard time buying the fact that all we could get out of Pena was Bronson Arroyo.

    I would have preferred to keep him around, drop fly balls, and hit about 40 dingers and get some REAL value out of him next season instead of Arroyo.

  11. Lancaster reports that Dunn’s back in LF, with Hatteberg and Aurilia to play first. This makes the Casey trade utterly pointless (except as a money-saver, I suppose). They’ve found the impossible – a less-productive first baseman, and have already 86ed the pitcher acquired in the deal.

  12. They’ve been trying to get real value out of him for three years now. The most anyone will give up for a masher is a #3-4 starting pitcher.

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  14. Well, I’m glad that they traded an outfielder for pitching. But I’m less happy that it happened at a time when the Reds finally had room to play all of their outfielders regularly. I like Arroyo too, though he’s inconsistent. Interesting to hear that he’s signed for the next three years. I wonder how he feels about being traded right after he signed that deal. Remember Jeff Shaw, who signed a lower-price deal to stay with the Reds then was traded to LA – he was angry.

    I have a feeling that Peña will thrive with a regular job in Boston. I expected him to sort of fizzle in Cincinnati, even as an everyday player, but he may really take to playing alongside Manny Ramirez. After all, Wily Mo was made in his image.

  15. I’m unimpressed. Give Krivsky credit for trying something to get pitching, but Arroyo is terribly overrated. He’s a #4 starter. I suppose there is some value in that, but I’d rather see what Wily Mo’s upside is, all in all.

    I don’t think the Reds are better today than they were yesterday. I don’t think they are worse…they just aren’t better.

  16. Are you guys kidding me? Wily Mo is unproven. Sure, he COULD hit 50 in hitter-friendly Great American, then again he could tank. He was a liability defensively, and the last thing we need is more offense.

    We need pitching. Bottom line. Arroyo is a move in the right direction. And no, the Casey trade was not worthless or pointless. I don’t like it any more than you do, but bottom line is, pitching wins championships.

    Arroyo is, right now, better than anyone we’ve got.

  17. MLB Radio was saying there were 3 or 4 other teams interested in Pena…does anybody know who they were or what other players were being dangled?

    The numbers don’t seem to support this trade–yes, Arroyo can eat innings, but his groundball / fly ball ratio is under 1 and his k/9 dropped by nearly 3 last year….

    One more complaint (I swear that deep down I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy)…our defense was among the league worst last year, and Dunn moving back to LF doesn’t help us there at all.

  18. Question Sean…is there evidence to support that Arroyo is “better than anyone we’ve got”? Better than Harang?

  19. I actually like this trade. As said we don’t need more offense. Arroyo is league average, or better – which is a step up. Wilo Mo (while I love the guy) was a liability.

    What I wish is that they’d leave Dunn at 1B, play Freel in LF, and alternate Womack and Aurilia at 2B.

  20. Interesting trade. It clears a lot of things up. 1.It shows how little we got for Casey (1.e. salary dump). 2.Paul Wilson better be a world beater when he comes back or he’s done as a Red. 3. Freel probably gets his chance at being the everyday left fielder. 4. Womack’s the second baseman. 5. Pena probably irked management with his participation/non participation in the WBC.
    All in all, the Reds still have a starting staff of #3 and #4 starters.

  21. The park is a homerun park. If you give up flyballs you are going to give up homeruns. If you give up homeruns you are going to give up runs. Once again the Reds find themselves with another flyball pitcher.
    Milton? SUCKED
    Ortiz? SUCKED
    Williams? Probably going to suck (his GB/FB is essentially 1 over his career)
    Arroyo? WILL suck, he’s another flyball pitcher in a park that eats them ALIVE.

  22. There’s a difference between “not needing more offense” and “needing less offense.” We have less offense than we did yesterday, and significantly less than we did in November (Casey + WMP > Hatteberg + Womack). The question is do we have better pitching? I think we do, but the question is how much better?

  23. RE: GB/FB ratio.
    Harang’s 2005 ratio was 0.95. He was at 1.05 in 2004 and 1.07 in 2003.
    Claussen’s 2005 ratio was 0.77. He was at 0.93 in 2004.

    Each player had their GB/FB ratio worsen last year and each had the best year of their young careers.

    I don’t think you can look at this one stat ratio and expect Arroyo to suck.

  24. Womack is not replacing Wily Mo in the lineup. The tradeoff is Hatteberg for Casey with the half season that Wily Mo didn’t hit last year going to Kearns.

  25. 101 starts went to guys with an ERA over 5 last year.

    The difference between Milton in 2005 vs Milton pre-2005 isn’t in the homers. He’s always given up a lot of homers. He also had a better GB/FB ratio than he did for the Phillies.

    It was the first time in his career he’d given up more than .300 batting avg. The hits and lack of K’s killed him. If he shaves the BAA back to the .250 range, everything else being equal, he should revert back to 4.50 ERA range. Nothing to get too terribly excited about until you realize the Reds let him start 34 games with a 6.5 ERA last year.

  26. It’s worth a shot. I’m tired of the Reds sitting on potential 50 HR guys, afraid of pulling the trigger by trading for potential SP.

    If Dunn is back in the OF then that is an upgrade defensively, not the other way around. Though I like the idea of Freel being an everyday LF.

    I like Wily Mo’s potential, but this is a risk worth taking. I’m tired of the automatic 74-88 season and this team will be no better than that until they get guys who are major league pitchers. Arroyo has the potential to be one of the best pitchers in this rotation. That’s not saying much, but it’s a lot better than what they had yesterday.

    As far as not getting enough value for Wily Mo, when have you ever seen a team give up “great” starting pitching for an unproven outfielder that can’t field?

  27. I think Arroyo makes the pitching considerably better than last year – enough to offset the lost offense – bc league average (Arroyo last year) is so much better than our #s 3-5 SPs in 2005. I like the fact that he’s signed for three years at a relative bargain ($12 mm) and that he’s entering his prime. His K rate really went down last year (from 7.1 to 4.4), hopefully that was more of an anomoly and will rebound as he switches to an easier league for pitchers.

    IF Arroyo keeps it in the yard and IF Griffey and Kearns stay relatively healthy, this is a great trade. Pena may very well never live up to his hype. I thought it would’ve been better to wait until the trade deadline to pump up his value, but that could’ve backfired if he slumped. A cautious thumbs-up to Wayne K on this one.

  28. You all seem to be forgetting that we’ll have Edwin Encarnacion for a full season, which should offset the offense we lose with Hatteberg. Of course, we wouldn’t have to lose ANY offense if we started Freel in CF (sorry folks, but Griffey doesn’t have the range to play CF anymore) and kept Dunn at 1B. Even so, it’s a good trade, as Pena’s on-base liabilities prevent him from being seen as a true hitting star. He might develop into a complete hitter, but it’s more likely he’ll have an undistinguished career.

  29. Sox fan here. I like the trade from our standpoint but Reds’ fans should also like it. Arroyo is a guy who gives you three good starts then gets creamed. He doesn’t let it bother him though and he bounces right back.

  30. Good points, Tyler. I am forgetting about Encar. Maybe because Narron kept threatening to give us Aurilia.

  31. Speaking as a Sox fan, I’m excited to have Pena and not too disappointed about giving up Arroyo. But that’s only because we had seven starting pitchers and no outfield depth. The Reds had the opposite problem – too many outfielders and not enough pitching. Pena has potential but the gaping flaws in his game and his failure to stick as a regular mean that Cincinnati fans should be pretty psyched to get an established starter at a bargain price. Arroyo is now your second-best starter, and when he has his control, he could be your best. While that says more about the Reds staff than it does about Arroyo, it’s something to keep in mind.

  32. Pena’s “failure to stick as a regular” says a lot more about the Reds than it does Pena.

  33. great points by GregD in this thread!

    i like this move a lot because it’s exactly what Castellini said he was going to do: improve now and for the future.

    Arroyo makes us better right now. his #2 Comp is harang and we could use another harang.

    but this trade is going to look amazing when we’re paying 3 million in 2008 for a fifth starter whose putting up a 4 ERA. Hopefully bailey will be up, and we’ll have aquired a top tier starter with the money saved from wilson and milton to go infront of harang and claussen. ’08, that’s the year we’re building for.

    but right now we should be above .500, and i think it’s possible for arroyo to put up a sub 4 ERA with the league switch and the move to a better pitcher’s park (over all).

  34. I salivate over the HR’s and potential, too, but Pena is not an automatic to be an offensive stud. His failure to stick as a regular in 2005 has more to do with his propensity for injuries than it says anything about the Reds. He missed 40 games with injuries in 2005 including 30 days on the DL in may for a quad strain.

    So, you look at his numbers and the potential to make a trade now, at mid-season, or at the end of the year. No way the Reds pay Dunn, Kearn, Griffey and Pena to all play next year at the salaries they will command. And Pena’s WBC decision, right or wrong, likely sealed his fate as the one to go.

    You have an offer now for Arroyo. Who knows what other offers were out there. You look at Pena’s stats. His second half of the season (.224/.290/.401) and his road stats (.232/.272.435) leave a lot to be desired. His aggregate stats look like Alfonso Sorianos, without the high AVG, without the SB’s, without the durability, without the ability to play 2nd base. Soriano with all those things does not stack up as nicely to corner OFers as it does to 2nd baseman. Without those “extras”, Pena is a below average corner OFer.

    If you stick with Pena, looking for a mid-season offseason deal, you are screwed if he gets hurt again or performs worse than he did in part-time play last year. Then he would have NO trade value.

  35. Some good points, GregD. Though I don’t necessarily agree that he’d be below average for a corner OF. BP’s PECOTA mean projection for WMP is 18 VORP. That is below average, but only because it’s about 40% fewer PAs than the other LFs. His 90% projection, which still only has 492 PAs, gives him a 57.6 VORP, which would’ve ranked fourth among all LFs (just ahead of Dunn). Durability is the main issue, though. That may be what keeps him from ever getting to where he needs to be.

  36. Good move by Krivsky. Pena was the weakest link in the OF. Stone glove and weak OBP. Raw power was his only asset. Arroyo greatly bolsters our rotation which now projects to be near league average. The interesting facet to this trade is, he got cash back to cover the difference in salary. So Krivsky has yet to spend the bulk of the $5M that was saved in the Casey deal. So there should still be more moves to come. He still needs upgrades at SP, CL, 1B, and 2B.


  37. I don’t buy a lot of the hype on WMP – he doesn’t walk enough for me to be able to digest all those K’s – but I just have a hard time believing that Bronson Arroyo is the best Krivisky could have gotten for him.

  38. Something no one has mentioned is Bronson pitched both out of the pen and as a starter for Boston. He could really come in handy if Milton or Wilson return to form and then we have an extra starter. Bronson could move to pen for long relief.

    As far as WMP’s offensive numbers go, consider this: If EE plays regularly he will easily put up similar if not better numbers than WMP would have put up and with a higher avg. I don’t see the reds losing much in the way of offense here. The only real problem I have with this trade (and it seems to be the problem most people here have) is seeing Dunn move back to outfield so the Mad Hatter can play first. This is a terrible idea.

  39. I take this to mean tht the new Reds management team looked at Pena and did not see what all the fuss was about. The assumption is that he’ll be a 50 HR guy, but he’s undisciplined at the plate. Probably always will be. He’s a defensive weak spot, a guy made to be a DH. Time will tell, but I see this trade as a plus.

  40. I’m having a hard time understanding why so many people think that a player doesn’t have value if he hasn’t “proven” himself in the major leagues. Does potential future mean nothing to you at all? Should we just trade Jay Bruce for Julian Tavarez now because “it makes us a better team”? How is it possible that Arroyo will be more valuabe in two years – to the Reds on the field or in trade value – than Wily Mo Pena?

  41. Since Junior came over in 2000, the Reds have been pitching poor with a lot of rehab arms for Gullett to work with until last year. WMP can hit, no doubt, but poor defensive skills will limit his starting as an outfielder. He’ll fit better in the AL as a DH. This is a good trade for the Reds because it’s the beginning of the two keys to winning – pitching and defense.

  42. I don’t blame Jr for the Reds stinking. And the Reds’ practice of slag-heap pitching was in effect long before 2000. Schourek started it off, but then there were Mike Morgan, Roger Salkeld, Pete Harnisch (twice), Steve Parris, Ron Villone, Steve Avery, Jason Bere. Osvaldo Fernandez and Elmer Dessens were two guys brought on board at the same time as Griffey.

  43. Brian B – of course future value means something. But just because WMP is big, strong and can crush the ball in batting practice, there is no guarantee that he will develop and put it all together in a game. If anyone knew for sure that Wily Mo would develop, then you could say that the Reds were robbed in this deal. The risk that he won’t put it all together diminishes his current value. Arroyo has a longer track record, so his numbers are more easily projectable. There’s always the unknown (ie injury risk) but barring injuries, Arroyo is comparable to Harang and he is signed for the next 3 seasons at around $3 million. Given what the offseason market was for pitchers, $3 million is a very good price.

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