Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wily Mo Pena for Eric Byrnes?

I was watching the Red Sox game on Sunday with some friends, and we came up with a possible trade. This would be a deal that would greatly benefit the Red Sox. (I'm not trying to be one of those muttonheads who calls WFAN with a "great trade" idea, and it turns out to be trading a couple of tomato cans from the Yankee farm system for Johan Santana, or something like that.) I don't know if this will come to fruition, and I certainly am not starting any unsubstantiated rumors.

The Red Sox clearly need a fourth outfielder. J.D. Drew is having hamstring problems, and a trip to the DL at some point is not out of the question. Wily Mo Pena has clearly been a bust in Boston, and he's never going to make it there. (I find it very interesting that Drew has been out the last couple of days and Eric Hinske, who's hitting under .200, got the call both days. That tells me that Terry Francona has completely lost any confidence in Pena.)

Pena is NOT a fourth outfielder. He's not a good defensive outfielder, or the kind of guy you bring in into a game in the late innings to shore up your defense. He strikes out WAY too much, and has no conception of a strike zone.

If the Red Sox have a glaring weakness, it is the bench. Alex Cora is a fine utility player, but Pena and Hinske scare no one, and Doug Mirabelli's only good for catching Tim Wakefield's knuckler (and for increasing my Site Meter numbers when he hits home runs). They need a veteran bat.

Eric Byrnes (pictured) would be a nice fit.

I've always liked him. He's always been a scrappy, hustling outfielder who can play all the outfield positions. He's having a fine season in Arizona, with 14 home runs, 50 RBI and batting .310. But he's also a free agent after this season, and the Diamondbacks may not wish to re-sign him, as he'll be looking for a major salary increase. (He's making just over $2 million this season.)

Pena is only making $1.25 million this season. Now, whether the Diamondbacks have any interest in Pena, I do not know. But remember, Arizona GM Josh Byrnes (no relation to Eric) is the former right hand man of Theo Epstein. So a trade between the two clubs is not out of the realm of possibility.

If Arizona makes it known that they will move Byrnes and not bring him back, they will probably wait until the July 31 deadline to move him, as I'm sure his price will rise the longer he's on the market. I'm sure the Red Sox would have to offer more than Pena to get Byrnes, but I'd be willing to do it, even if Byrnes is only on the Sox the rest of 2007.

Right now I'd deal Pena for a used ball bag and a couple of broken bats. But if they could make a significant trade for a veteran bat and move Pena, they'd be killing two birds with one stone.

I think Eric Byrnes fits that bill.


Dave said...

I would think it wouldn't cost us too much more than WMP, would it? Maybe Abe Alvarez or one of our mid-tier pitchers in Greenville or Lancaster?

The Omnipotent Q said...

I would hope so, Dave. I'd hate to see the Sox part with any youngesters of quality in any deal to get rid of Wily Mo.