Bronson's comments as related in the Extra Bases blog are every bit as stinging as you'd expect:
- What do you know about Cincinnati?:
“Nothing. Dave Williams. I played with him in Pittsburgh. I played with Jason LaRue in the fall league, too. I know a few of their guys ... but basically no experience.”
You would have been underutilized here – does that make the trade any more palatable?:
“I said all along I'd rather pitch out of the pen here than start somewhere else. I still feel that way right now. But it's good knowing that I'll get 33-35 starts and not have to worry about being left out of the rotation. Still doesn't change the fact that I want to play in this uniform.”
Although, this excellent piece in the Union Leader (I'm beginning to like them more and more for sports coverage) details the potential upside of the trade nicely:
While Arroyo once arrived to fill a need, his departure serves another. The team’s farm system was thin on mashers until larger-than-life Wily Mo Pena was acquired for Arroyo yesterday.
“It’s nice to have someone in the organization now,” noted Epstein, “who has a chance to really develop that kind of middle-of-the-order power.”
Whether Pena (career .248 average and .303 OBP) will fulfill that potential is anyone’s guess. He is perhaps the most free-swinging player in baseball, and has struck out more than once out of every three at-bats in his career. Yet when he makes contact, the ball disintegrates, evidenced by 51 homers in 830 at-bats. At the age of 24, there is time to grow.
“Pena is right about the age where he’ll either improve his plate discipline enough to be productive,” noted one baseball executive, “or we can write off any shot of him being a useful regular.”
The Sox offer the example of Jesse Barfield to suggest that a player can make the leap. The former Jays star hit .247 with a .303 OBP in three years before turning 24, then amassed a .288 average, .366 OBP and .530 slugging average (third best in baseball) over the next three years.
That promise made yesterday’s risk/reward proposition palatable to the Sox. So, too, did the likelihood that the team gave up a pitcher who once performed an indispensable function but now seemed redundant.
I don't know about "larger than life", but I can at least see the logic.
Although if we're looking for someone with "middle of the order power" you now have to look at the guys currently in the middle of our order as on the chopping block. It's been popularly theorized that Trot Nixon won't be back at least next year, if he's not gone sooner. The other two, I'd rather not think about.
It has also been widely pointed out that we now have more OF and backup OF than you can shake a stick at. Most shamans of the baseball world are interpreting smoke signals, gauging the direction of the wind and the behavior of the flora and fauna nearby and saying: more big trade come soon.
Perhaps I picked a time too early in the spring to get attached to any members of the 2006 squad.
Also, in not entirely related news, I had this nightmare last night that Adam Vinatieri signed with the Colts. You know things aren't good in Patriotsland when I'm dreaming about football in March.