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Why I don't like the Willy Mo Pena Deal

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Why I don't like the Willy Mo Pena Deal

Postby TheGrump » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:05 pm

1.Willie Mo Pena could hit 30+ HRS.

The Reds have never given the guy a full time job. Last year, Mr. Pena had 311 ABS and 19HRS. The year before, he homered 26 in 336ABS. Project the numbers out, he hits 30.

2. Willie Mo Pena is only 24.

The flip side of this is that he still makes some rookie mistakes. What I see that I like about willie mo is that he is physically HUGE!!! At a very young age.

3. Bronson Arroyo is a #4 pitcher, and the Reds already have enough #4 pitchers.

In two full seasons of work, Bronson has never had an era under If you have seen him pitch you know that he does not have good stuff. He has to locate his pitches perfectly to be effective.

A deeper look into his stats shows a disturbing trend.
His K/9 went down last year.
His ERA went up.
His WHIP went up.
He BB/9 went up.

He was in a battle for a position in the Red Sox's rotation. He has had a very bad spring training. Bronson Arroyo probably was not going to make the Red Sox pitching staff anyway.

4. The Reds are not getting a good return on a considerable investment.

The Reds have complained for years that Pena had a roster spot on the team that he did not deserve. What they don’t tell you is: IT WAS IN HIS CONTRACT WHEN THEY TRADED FOR HIM. But they kept him around. Why? Because his talent was too much to deny.
And now we trade him for a #4 pitcher. We could have just released him 3 years ago, saved the headache and given the roster spot to another marginal pitcher. Boy, wouldn't that have helped?

5. The defense will not drastically improve and the offense will not be better.

Scott Hatteberg will now be playing first base on a full time basis for the Reds. The guy batted .256 last year and is a career .268 hitter. You can tell me all you want about how he is better defensively at first then Dunn, but the fact remain that Dunn is now playing outfield again.
Scott Hatteberg's major selling point is that he will give a good at bat. How pathetic is that?
People have started talking up

6. Trade shows the shortsightedness a la the Jim Bowden era.

The Reds have no chance to win next year. This signing has really given them no real hope of winning in the future. This is patchwork. The more responsible approach may have been to try to trade for the reds organization's biggest weakness: pitching prospects, so that maybe we have a chance in the future. If Willie Mo Pena couldn't fetch you the prospects that you wanted, well, you moved the wrong guy.

7. The Cincinnati media is leading the fans to believing this is a good deal.

Everyone is going nuts over this signing! THIS signing!
My favorite piece of misinformation: “Arroyo led the red sox in quality starts". Why? BECAUSE THE REST OF THE STAFF WAS HURT.

8. If there was a need for starting pitching, the red's front office created it.

Why did they let Luke Hudson and Behilse go? Does not make sense to me. At least Hudson throws hard and can be a semi-effective spot starter.
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Postby benjapage » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:00 pm

grump, i completely agree. i voiced our disagreement with john fay (the enquirer's reds beat writer) and he's already guzzled the kool-aid.

i have nothing new to add, save for the fact that i'm glad at least another reds fan feels the way i do.

b
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Postby xted30 » Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:39 pm

I gotta say, I completely disagree. I think this was just the right trade for the Reds at the right time. Pena is up and coming, but we needed pitching, not another 30+ HR guy. Grif is too old to get value and we all know Dunn wasn't going anywhere. The reason Arroyo was in a battle in Boston is because they HAVE pitching. It was a good fit for both teams, and I think he'll be decent here. Granted, he's not a true #1 pitcher, but he's certainly better than a #4. One step at a time. Have a little faith.
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Postby benjapage » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:15 am

xted30 wrote:I gotta say, I completely disagree. I think this was just the right trade for the Reds at the right time. Pena is up and coming, but we needed pitching, not another 30+ HR guy. Grif is too old to get value and we all know Dunn wasn't going anywhere. The reason Arroyo was in a battle in Boston is because they HAVE pitching. It was a good fit for both teams, and I think he'll be decent here. Granted, he's not a true #1 pitcher, but he's certainly better than a #4. One step at a time. Have a little faith.


xted, did you read the grump's message? criminy, it's all spelled out there. let me break it down for you as simply as i can:

the reds will not make the playoffs this year or next year. it's a toss-up as to whether they have a shot in 2008.

arroyo's not going to get any better, especially as a 29 year-old, fly-ball pitcher in a bomb-prone park.

wily mo is still developing. he's only 24. he was about to get a shot playing every day...now, who knows? it's unfortunate.

in sum, don't drink the kool-aid. yes, "the reds need pitching," but what they really need are pitching prospects, not middle-tier guys who've already peaked. teams who are about to win (the cardinals, for instance) would have much more use for arroyo than the reds.

it's maddening to me that everyone doesn't see this logic, especially john fay, the reds' writer and some of the inane and ubiquitous talk show hosts. just another reason the baseball intellect is dropping like a wrecking ball through this town.

b
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Postby jayday » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:09 pm

Agree with what you said benja....I am still questioning he trade, so we'll see how it pans out....But with the new ownership, I am more hopeful for the future... ;-D
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Postby xted30 » Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:35 am

benjapage wrote:
xted30 wrote:I gotta say, I completely disagree. I think this was just the right trade for the Reds at the right time. Pena is up and coming, but we needed pitching, not another 30+ HR guy. Grif is too old to get value and we all know Dunn wasn't going anywhere. The reason Arroyo was in a battle in Boston is because they HAVE pitching. It was a good fit for both teams, and I think he'll be decent here. Granted, he's not a true #1 pitcher, but he's certainly better than a #4. One step at a time. Have a little faith.


xted, did you read the grump's message? criminy, it's all spelled out there. let me break it down for you as simply as i can:

the reds will not make the playoffs this year or next year. it's a toss-up as to whether they have a shot in 2008.

arroyo's not going to get any better, especially as a 29 year-old, fly-ball pitcher in a bomb-prone park.

wily mo is still developing. he's only 24. he was about to get a shot playing every day...now, who knows? it's unfortunate.

in sum, don't drink the kool-aid. yes, "the reds need pitching," but what they really need are pitching prospects, not middle-tier guys who've already peaked. teams who are about to win (the cardinals, for instance) would have much more use for arroyo than the reds.

it's maddening to me that everyone doesn't see this logic, especially john fay, the reds' writer and some of the inane and ubiquitous talk show hosts. just another reason the baseball intellect is dropping like a wrecking ball through this town.

b


Break it down as simply as you can? I've been playing baseball all the way through college and have plenty of knowledge on the sport.And I've never been one to drink the kool-aid. The bottom line is we need pitching. Let's look at the facts. The Reds have not developed their own pitching in quite a few years. Before they can bring in a top tier free agent, they are going to need to prove that they are willing to take steps to win. Bringing in a mediocre pitcher (who by the way hasn't walked a single batter in 13 2/3 innings so far) is a step in the right direction. I am by no means saying that Arroyo is the answer long term. But he is a building block to help bring in future players. Pena is overrated. He may hit 30 HR's a year, but he also strikes out too much. We already have one Adam Dunn, we don't need another.

To further illustrate my point, look at the Bengals. Marvin Lewis had to have a couple of mediocre seasons by utilizing what he had and making the best of some mediocre players (i.e. Jon Kitna). After a couple of decent seasons, he is able to at least have a shot at some of the bigger name players. The Reds need some time to complete a total turnaround, but again Arroyo is a step in the right direction. And please, don't ever insult my baseball intelligence again.
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Postby benjapage » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:29 am

xted30 wrote:The bottom line is we need pitching. Let's look at the facts. The Reds have not developed their own pitching in quite a few years.


bringing in arroyo does not qualify as "developing their own pitching." he's a good endcap for a team trying to win this year. krivsky has repeatedly reinforced the "win now" attitude, which explains the advent of arroyo...but we're not going to win this year. anyone in baseball will tell you this. xted, you're right in that we do need pitching in a bad, bad way! but the marlins have done correctly what we've balled up: in three years, they'll have anibal sanchez, yusmeiro petit, scott olsen, josh johnson, and still dontrelle willis and jason vargas, among others. in three years, we'll have...oh, never mind.

xted30 wrote:Before they can bring in a top tier free agent, they are going to need to prove that they are willing to take steps to win. Bringing in a mediocre pitcher (who by the way hasn't walked a single batter in 13 2/3 innings so far) is a step in the right direction. I am by no means saying that Arroyo is the answer long term. But he is a building block to help bring in future players.


taking the initial steps to win requires building one mother of a minor league/young organization. only after the team's built this solid, young foundation does it make sense to bring in free agents aged 30+. i like a player like arroyo, but only for a team that has established this young, solid, competitive base. that is not this year's reds.

xted30 wrote:Pena is overrated. He may hit 30 HR's a year, but he also strikes out too much. We already have one Adam Dunn, we don't need another.


how do you know he's overrated? he's never played regularly and he's only 24. he has loads of holes in his swing and a poor sense of the strike zone, but he's only 24. he does have incredible power, decent speed, a terrific arm, and an excellent work ethic. effectively, we just traded an upward trajectory for a downward trajectory. how does help bring in free agents? if you're a free agent, you see a team that continues to waffle through a patchwork of 35-year old relievers and no (none) good, young pitching, and you think, hey--that's the spot for me? doubtful. as a pitcher, you'd rather have dunn in left and hatteberg at first? ...anway...

xted30 wrote:To further illustrate my point, look at the Bengals. Marvin Lewis had to have a couple of mediocre seasons by utilizing what he had and making the best of some mediocre players (i.e. Jon Kitna). After a couple of decent seasons, he is able to at least have a shot at some of the bigger name players. The Reds need some time to complete a total turnaround, but again Arroyo is a step in the right direction.


baseball and football operate under TOTALLY different structures. where are the minor leagues in football? where's the salary cap in baseball? i can't even begin to address all the discrepancies in this analogy. hopefully, you'll just see them yourself.

xted30 wrote:And please, don't ever insult my baseball intelligence again.


oops. none of this is a personal attack, friend. we're just discussing our team. apologies if our respective passions trampled each other's sensibilities.

b
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Postby xted30 » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:15 am

I understnad all of your points, and they are well taken. My point about developing pitching is that if we are not going to do it, we have to start somewhere. We must be able to build the team a step at a time. Without a solid young base, we had to bring in an above average FA to sort of put a band-aid on the staff for now.

I totally agree that we need a young, strong talent base to keep feeding the system, but without one (and we currently don't have that system set up), we must do what is necessary to bring talent in. By upgrading the team's staff, more pitchers that are FA will potentially want to come here in the future if we CAN build that young base.

Personally, I was never sold on Wily Mo. I liked his work ethic, but I don't think he'll ever be more than an all or nothing hitter. Maybe I'm wrong. Only time will tell. And personally, I would rather have Dunn in LF as Pena has been an even bigger liability in the field. IMO, Dunn has more potential and has come closer to hitting his stride. I just don't see a need for more than one player like that in the outfield. And let's face it, Griffey wasn't going to be traded due to his Cincinnati upbringing and his age.

On the last point, I understand the difference between baseball and football, and they are severely different in many ways, as you mentioned. My point was merely that as you build a solid, competitive team (step by step, not all at once), bigger and better players will want to play here to help put us over the top. That's all I'm saying. I agree that Arroyo would probably help put the Cards over the top, but I also think he's a step in the right direction for us.

It certainly sounds as if we agree on most issues, just not this Arroyo for Pena trade, Benja. As it is often in life, we're probably just going to have to agree to disagree on that subject. And on that note, Go Reds!
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Postby RynMan » Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:06 pm

The Reds could have had Barry Zito for Willy Mo.
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Postby thatohiosportsfan » Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:18 pm

Put Arroyo's two good starts aside, I don't expect that to continue...nonetheless, this was a terrible trade for the Reds...
The counterargument keeps arising, "we need pitching" "Wily is inconsistent"...please...the fact that he is 24 is the biggest asset a player like him could have...
He's young, and everyone keeps saying he'll hit 30...try 40+...with that kind of mammoth power, a little hitting instruction and he'll be one of your top tier power hitters in baseball...
Great, so we want to win now...so we keep a player like Wily Mo...platoon him until Junior retires, then he takes over in 2 to three years...now our pitching will get better over the years (it can't get much worse)...but just think about that opposing outfields that pitchers have to face on a daily basis- DUNN-PENA-KEARNS ..... late 20's, in their primes...that's downright scary...granted, they strikeout more than any players in the league, those three could combine to hit 120 homers (theres a lot of strength there)...
You don't just trade away your biggest potential hitter for a decent pitcher that isn't going to bring you a world series title...
........reversed and remanded
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