WASHINGTON (AP) -The Washington Nationals acquired outfielder Wily Mo Pena and cash from the Boston Red Sox on Friday for a player to be named.
Pena will platoon in left field for the Nationals, who hope he will provide a power bat to the team that is last in the majors in home runs.
Pena was a backup for the AL East-leading Red Sox, batting .218 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 73 games. He has 67 homers - as well as 436 strikeouts - in 459 games over six seasons with Cincinnati and Boston.
The Nationals have hit only 82 home runs this season.
``We don't score a lot of runs,'' Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. ``We don't have a lot of depth at the higher levels right now, and he's 25 years old with power. It was an opportunity we couldn't turn down.''
Pena will join the team Saturday, and his arrival means a demotion of sorts for Ryan Church, who has been the everyday left fielder. Church, who bats left-handed, was hitting .265 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs entering Friday night's game against the New York Mets.
``Certainly sometimes acquisitions can motivate other players to step up their game,'' Bowden said.
Pena is a liability in the field and has had trouble staying healthy - he missed part of last season with a broken wrist - and Bowden was frank about the pros and cons of the trade.
``One thing about Willie Mo Pena I can tell you is if you give him 500 at bats, he's going to hit 40 home runs and strike out more than Adam Dunn,'' Bowden said. ``And he's a below-average defender who needs to work hard on his game.''
Notes: The Nationals will make a corresponding roster move to make room for Pena once he arrives Saturday. ... RHP John Patterson, trying to recover from a nerve problem in his throwing arm, will pitch live batting practice Sunday at the Nationals complex in Florida.
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