08 July 2009

Pena for Allen

Time to evaluate the most recent trade.

At first, I was rather upset to see this deal happen. Brandon Allen has been doing well for the White Sox in the minors, and I saw him as being a contributor as soon as next year. I honestly liked the thought of Konerko staying at 1B for the most part, meaning that Fields and Allen would share time at DH. The Allen move might mean that Thome or Dye will be brought back to DH next year, or it could be a sign that Quentin or Flowers will be in a DH/1B role for the Sox soon. Anyway, with Viciedo failing at 3B and Flowers lacking at C, we still have some slugging 1B/DH depth.

Tony Pena is a good pitcher, but in my eyes Brandon Allen was worth more. Of course, Pena is a proven major league talent, cheap and under control for the next several years, and the Sox might see something in him that Cooper can fix. It is quite possible that Pena provides more value for Chicago than Allen does for Arizona.

I'm now viewing this the way I view most of Kenny Williams's trades: it looks like it could be a good deal, so I'll just have to wait and see how he knew better than I.

Arizona likes to trade for White Sox 1B prospects. Last year they acquired Chris Carter in the Carlos Quentin trade. Carter is now in the Oakland system due to the Dan Haren trade.

I'm not sure what Pena's purpose is at this point. I see two possibilities. 1) He is the heir apparent to Octavio Dotel, whether he leaves this offseason or at the trade deadline. Or 2) Scott Linebrink is reduced to lower-leverage situations, Dotel is promoted to the 8th inning with Thornton, and Pena fits in alongside/over Linebrink and Carrasco.

I have to assume that Gobble will be the corresponding roster move. With Poreda performing well, we don't really need the third lefty in the 'pen. A possible use for Gobble: the Cubs might be looking for a lefty reliever so that Sean Marshall can start, now that Ryan Dempster is injured. Not sure what we'd get in a swap, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Gobble go the way of Cotts, to the North side.

Speaking of lefties, I'm wondering whether Randy Williams will get his chance. He impressed during spring training, but I haven't heard anything about him since. I checked at one point, and he was on Charlotte's roster, meaning we kept him after spring training. I'll look into it later, but I wonder how he's playing.

That's all for now.

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