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Wily Mo Pena close to signing deal with Japanese team

Nov 27, 2011, 9:02 AM EDT

wily mo pena headshot ap AP

According to Sponichi in Japan, via Yakyubaka.com and CBS Sports’ Eye on Baseball, free agent slugger Wily Mo Pena is close to signing a two-year contract with the Softbank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball.

Pena, 29, slugged seven home runs in 120 major league plate appearances this past year between the Diamondbacks and Mariners. He also tallied 25 homers in 76 games at the Triple-A level.

That raw power has always been intriguing to big league front offices, but Pena has never really had a position — he’s a highly unreliable defensive outfielder — and never possessed the kind of plate discipline that would make him worthy of a starting DH gig. His career MLB strikeout rate is 30.3%.

The Sponichi report suggests that he will receive around $5 million in total salary, a lofty price tag for any NPB athlete. Perhaps the Softbank Hawks believe that the batting-practice showman carries star potential.

  1. trevorb06 - Nov 27, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Please be sure to give up Wily Mo updates as often as you can, especially if he rakes in Japan.

    • foreverchipper10 - Nov 28, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      I believe you mean when. When he rakes in Japan.

  2. purnellmeagrejr - Nov 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    The other day I saw somebody was making up an all “Old” team to get him through the winter months – If there were an all 1 Dimensional Team Wily Mo would definitely be there. The fact that he has no position – rather than hurting him – will actually be a plus.

    • cur68 - Nov 27, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      Yeah, that was me with the “All Franco Squad”. WMP too young for it. If he were more than 35 then he’d be in like a shot. I’m hoping he learns a bit if D in Japan and some plate discipline. He’s still better than Adam Dunn, no matter what.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Nov 28, 2011 at 6:56 AM

        Maybe Wily Mo will pull a Cecil Fielder – hone his skill and come back to the U.S. to become a star. You know I re read my first sentence and decided to keep “hone his skill.”
        Adam Dunn certainly has Right Field nailed down. Who are the best good field no hit Catcher and Shortstop?

      • dan1111 - Nov 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

        I think purnell meant to say that Adam Dunn is nailed down in right field.

      • cur68 - Nov 28, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        Nailed down and fitted with cement over shoes is what.

  3. drunkenhooliganism - Nov 27, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    He’s gonna crush the home run record in Japan if he’s an every day player. Yes, I say that meaning that he’ll be the best power hitter Japan ever saw, and that he might not be good enough to play every day.

    • dan1111 - Nov 28, 2011 at 10:01 AM

      “How many home runs am I going to hit? Thirty games…ten home runs a game…mmmmmmm, three thousand!”

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