Mike Bernardino of Pioneer Press reports that Wily Mo Pena has been declared an international free agent after playing two seasons with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan. Bernardino also has reported that their is mutual interest between Pena and the Minnesota Twins. According to Bernardino, an international scout believes Pena would be willing to play either first base or even in left field, besides the obvious designated hitter slot for the big right handed power hitter.
Wily Mo Pena, slugging 1B-OF, has been declared an international free agent after ending talks w/Orix club in Japan, source says.
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) November 22, 2014
Pena hit 32 home runs last year for Orix, while batting .255/.344/.486. The home run hitting Pena has a career batting total of .250/.303/.445 with 84 home runs in the MLB. His last appearance in the majors came in 2011, when he played 39 games with Arizona and Seattle managing a .204/.250/.416 total between the two teams.
The Twins currently have a spot for Pena, after trading Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners at the trade deadline last season. The Twins called up Kennys Vargas after the trade, giving the 11th ranked twins prospect a chance to show off his bat in the DH slot. The big, switch hitting 1B/DH from Puerto Rico played in 53 games and batted .274/.316/.456 adding on 9 home runs and 38 runs batted in. It will be an interesting decision for the reportedly interested Twins, to see if they decide to stick to their young power hitter or look to add the veteran power hitter in Wily Mo Pena.
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