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The Diamondbacks sign Wily Mo Pena

Dec 1, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

Wily Mo Pena AP

It’s kind of fitting that, on the same day, an all-time “what happened to that guy” guy like Andy Marte signed with someone, that another one does too: Wily Mo Pena signed with the Diamondbacks.

It’s a minor league deal with an invite to camp, paying him $675,000.  Given the way he raked in limited play in Portland last year — .324/.390/.556 — he’s definitely worth a shot.  Worst case, you let him go.  Best case: he turns into Carlos Pena redux: a guy who everyone thought could put it together some day, didn’t for a long time, and then finally figured it out later.

I don’t know that I’d bet on it — Carlo Pena always had good plate discipline in his favor whereas Wily Mo doesn’t — but it’s a low risk, high upside proposition.  And he has a better shot at helping his team than Andy Marte does, I’d wager.

  1. Jack Marshall - Dec 1, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    Wily Mo’s career is a tragedy so far—he has astounding power, and needed to play daily to wear off the rough edges. Francona refused to play him at DH against lefties in Boston, which was just stupid: Theo got him to develop a power hitter, and they just wouldn’t let him hit because he looked ugly striking out. He’s probably Sam Horn, but he could be Cecil Fielder.

    • bloodysock - Dec 1, 2010 at 5:45 PM

      Further compounded by having traded Bronson Arroyo who was under a very affordable contract to obtain Wily Mo.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 1, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    I’d like to see him finally come around. Good luck, Wily.

  3. motherscratcher23 - Dec 1, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    My one and only Dayton Dragons game was on Wily Mo Pena bobblehead day. So I have a Wily Mo Pena Bobblehead. One of the legs is broke off.

    Just thought you should know.

  4. Glenn - Dec 1, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    The Diamondbacks could definitely use another high strike out guy.

    • Glenn - Dec 1, 2010 at 6:57 PM

      Meant to add that I am rooting for Wily Mo, too. I’m also still rooting for Sam Horn. I don’t know where he failed more, playing baseball or doing TV work for NESN. He made one uncomfortable to watch. Yet, every time I hoped that that would all go away and he’d become a silver-tongued analyst. That, and the 500 homeruns never happened.

  5. ta192 - Dec 1, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    Pena has always seemed to rake in limited duty. Makes it seem like a reasonable gamble for whoever. Give him a low ball contract with incentives and then hope you can get him to rake in something in excess of limited action. You’ll probably get a burned in a small way, but you could get lucky…

  6. BC - Dec 2, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    The guy’s not that old. Worth a shot. And he also holds the distinction of hitting the 3rd longest HR I’ve seen in person (somewhere around 470).
    For those of you playing at home, Rob Deer hit one in the 490’s in Detroit in 1992, and Jose Canseco hit the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto in 1998 (a ball that still on the way up and would now be on its way to Mars if the restaurant didn’t get in the way).

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