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Way is cleared for Peņa trade

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Wily Mo Peña has cleared trade waivers, according to a major league source, meaning the Red Sox can negotiate a deal for him with any team.

"I want to be traded," Peña said yesterday. "I want to play. They know I want to play. I'm surprised I wasn't traded before the deadline."

Peña is batting .223 with just 5 home runs and 16 RBIs after going 1 for 1 in last night's 10-4 loss to the Angels, not the kind of numbers that are going to cause contenders in search of a bat to fall over each other.

But because he's just 25, there are still teams that believe -- as the Red Sox did a year ago when they acquired him from the Reds for pitcher Bronson Arroyo -- that there remains a great deal of untapped potential.

A major league scout yesterday mentioned the Orioles as the kind of team that might have interest.

Peña was part of the package Boston offered to the White Sox for outfielder Jermaine Dye, but he was not a central figure in the deal.

"They want me to perform," Peña said of the Red Sox, "but how can I perform when I have just a couple of at-bats, then they take me out, and I don't play again for days?

"They said I would be given a chance to play, but it hasn't happened."

In Peña's last two seasons in Cincinnati, he hit 45 home runs in 647 at-bats, which projects over a 500-at-bat season to 35 home runs. But in 2006, his first season with the Sox, Peña had just 276 at-bats and 72 starts, hitting 11 home runs.

So far this season, Peña has made just 37 starts and appeared in 69 of the team's first 113 games, with just 148 at-bats.

When Manny Ramírez was ejected in the fourth inning of Monday night's 4-2 loss to the Angels, manager Terry Francona elected to use rookie Brandon Moss, a lefthanded hitter making his big league debut, in left field instead of Peña.

Moss wound up facing Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez with the tying runs on base and two outs in the ninth; he struck out. (Peña had one career at-bat against Rodriguez; he also struck out.)

Peña started in right field last night in place of J.D. Drew against Angels lefthander Joe Saunders. Drew, who batted for Peña after Saunders was lifted in the sixth, had some of his best swings of the season in Monday's loss, finishing with his fifth three-hit game of the year.

Drew went 0 for 2 last night.

"I am not a guy who has caused any trouble," Peña said, "but I want to play."

Drew in center tonight
Drew will play center field for the Sox for the first time tonight, as Francona wants to give Coco Crisp a couple of days off.

"It's no problem, definitely nothing new," said Drew. "When you haven't done it in a while, it can be a different scene, but it's a bigger challenge to go from one corner to the other. It will be nice to give Coco a couple of days off in a row."

Drew will be playing center for the first time since 2005, when he played 30 games there for the Dodgers.

In his career, Drew has played 215 games in center, compared with 780 in right field.

The most games he played in center in one season was the 97 he played for the Cardinals in 1999, when he made seven errors. That's the most errors he's made in one season at any position. He never has made more than five errors in a season in right field.

"J.D. is a good outfielder," said Francona. "He moves well and his instincts are solid. We never want to ask anybody to do something they're not comfortable with, but this should be fun to watch."

This will be Drew's first time playing alongside Ramírez.

"It's an opportunity for me to see Manny doing what he does best," said Drew.

Moose in the clear
The Seattle Mariners said they were not planning to discipline their mascot, the Mariner Moose, after he hit Crisp while taking a spin around Safeco Field in an ATV Sunday.

"The Mariners are very sorry about this unfortunate incident. We apologized Sunday to both Coco Crisp and the Red Sox, and they were very gracious about accepting our apology," Tim Hevly, the team's director of baseball information, said last night, according to the Associated Press. "There will be no punishment for the Moose."

Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, who was at last night's game, said, "That's their call, as long as there is some recognition that lines have to be drawn, boundaries respected, with respect to the conduct of mascots around the league."