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Friday, August 17, 2007
Berry: Pena traded, Maybin called up

By Matthew Berry

It took long enough, but Boston has finally traded Wily Mo Pena. In exchange for a player to be named later, Pena goes to the Washington Nationals, where he is reunited with general manager Jim Bowden. Remember, Bowden traded for him once before, back when he was running the Reds. And it was with Cincinnati that Pena had his best years. If chicks dig the long ball, the ladies of Washington will love Wily Mo, because he has tons of power.

In two years with the Reds, Pena had 647 at-bats, or basically a full season of playing time, and he hit 45 home runs and drove in 117 runs in that span. A career .256 hitter, Pena isn't going to help your batting average, but for that kind of power, he's worth the risk. He'll play every day and hit in the middle of the order for Washington, making him an immediate pickup in all NL-only leagues or even 12-team mixed leagues where you need some power for the stretch run.

The Red Sox recalled Jacob Ellsbury to take Pena's place on the roster, and you want him if you are in a deep AL-only league, a keeper league or really need speed, because while Ellsbury won't play everyday, he is very fast. In 91 games in the minors this year, Ellsbury hit .323 with 38 steals and 72 runs scored.

Speaking of talented youngsters in the outfield, the Tigers made a surprise move today by calling up highly-regarded prospect Cameron Maybin. They've been saying all along that they were not going to call up Maybin this year. They lied. In fairness, however, they thought Craig Monroe would be able to hit. The Tigers designated Monroe for assignment, just like his fantasy owners did a long time ago.

Anyway, in deep AL-only leagues or keeper leagues, you want Maybin. He's really young (born in 1987), inexperienced (he has all of six career games in Double-A) and he won't get full playing time this year. That said, there's a reason he's in the bigs. He hit .316 with 14 home runs, 53 RBIs, 68 runs and 25 steals in 323 at-bats in rookie ball, high Class-A and Double-A combined. Just like Ellsbury, deep AL-only or keeper leaguers should grab him immediately. Everyone else should just watch for now. And if you're deciding between the two, long-term, I like Maybin more than Ellsbury.

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