The Giants have entered the second half of the season much like the first, looking bad. The 12-1 beat down handed out by the Cubs yesterday only punctuates this notion. With no hope of playoff contention, the Giants should be looking to wheel and deal what little they have this year. This is basically the common mantra chanted by most fans.
In a Boston Herald article today it appears that the Red Sox are actively shopping Wily Mo Peña.
The Sox are looking for a righthanded-hitting outfielder who can play center, as the team actively seeks to deal Wily Mo Peña. Peña, who struck out twice in Tuesday’s 9-3 loss, is batting .146 (6 for 41) in his last 19 games, and has struck out 12 times in his last 17 at-bats. He has just one RBI in his last 17 games, has just one hit in nine at-bats as a pinch hitter, and while the Sox still acknowledge the raw potential, there is substantial evidence they have concluded he is inadequate for the role they need. It’s not enough that the Sox pick up a righthanded bat; they need someone who also can play center, which should put to rest recent speculation about reacquiring Kevin Millar
Would the Red Sox be interested in a trade of Randy Winn? Winn is a switch hitter that has experience in the American League and could spend time in center if the Sox needed him too. The obvious obstacles are that Winn has a no-trade clause and that he’s from California so he may be very comfortable in his current living arrangements. But the Giants are so lousy this year, Winn could have a legitimate shot at winning a ring with the Red Sox, that has to count for something, right? I think a trade of Winn for Peña and a low level prospect could potentially be a match for the Red Sox.
Furthermore, if the Giants were able to move Winn, it would make room in the OF for a younger player from the three headed monster of Ortmeier / Lewis / Schierholtz. Fred Lewis has played well this year posting a line of (.283/.358/.425) and Ortmeier looked decent too in his brief time with the club. I think the real winner of a Randy Winn move could be Nate Schierholtz who is the closet thing the Giants have to a legit hitting prospect. Nate has been having an excellent all around season in AAA this year. With a line that looks like (.333/.361/.538) I would hope the Giants will give Nate a chance to win a starting job in 2008. If Winn is moved, it opens another potential spot for Nate. Lewis and Ortmeirer probably profile more as 4th OF types right now but I like Nates chances.
Wily Mo Peña isn’t the perfect answer to the Giants troubles (he has some big flaws, such as a bad walk rate and high strikeout rate) but he’s still young at 25 and I like his power potential. In 2006 Peña was a part time player with the Sox and posted respectable numbers of (.301/.349/.489). He’s definitely a hacker much like Pedro Feliz but unlike Pedro he’s still young with the chance to get better and his power eclipses Pedros. Wily has struggled this year and isn’t much more than a LF in the field but with Bonds leaving after the year he could find some time to start, or be used in some sort of platoon role like he was with the Red Sox.
Better yet, the Giants could shed Winn, even if they have to pay some of his salary in the deal. Winn is basically an average OF with a career OPS+ of exactly 100. I think that a combo pair of any of our young OF’s could match his production for much less salary and we could take a chance to Peña who is a little intriguing.