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.

Recent MLB Discussions

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Rockies vs. Dodgers Pick The Los Angeles Dodgers welcome the Colorado Rockies to town tonight at 10:10PM ET to begin a weekend NL West...
Thumbnail Angels vs. Red Sox Prediction Will the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox could find themselves in a high-scoring battle when the two...
Thumbnail Orioles vs. Mariners Pick Will the Seattle Mariners be able to hold down the Baltimore Orioles once again when they meet tonight at 10:10PM...
Thumbnail Astros vs. White Sox Pick Will the Houston Astros stay hot when they host the Chicago White Sox tonight at 8:10PM ET?
Thumbnail Tigers vs. Rays Pick After a big comeback win on Thursday, can the Detroit Tigersfollow it up with another win over the Tampa Bay Rays...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages