After a 2008 campaign that saw the once powerful hitting Wily Mo slug only .267 in nearly 200 at bats, and an even rougher 2009 spring, the Nats have officially parted ways with the big right fielder.
The one time slugger had been demoted to the minors as a result of poor performance, health, and an unreasonably crowded outfield returning from Florida to Washington. Pena refused his assignment and will now try to find employment elsewhere.
How likely that outcome is is hard to predict. Pena is only 27 and has had a history of putting up serious power numbers in his days in Cincinnati and in his short tenure at Boston. But a .253/.319/.439 mark in 2007 and a .205/.243/.267 mark in 2008 is not a promising indicator of him making anyone’s opening day roster.
A change of scenery may have been what the doctor ordered for both parties as it will give Pena a new opportunity to succeed in an environment where he isn’t perceived as such a failure, and it will help the Nats move into a new era not marred by disappointed.
The loss of Pena will somewhat ease the outfield carousel problem in D.C, but the fact remains there is still a myriad of fly shaggers and a lack of pitchers.