White Sox Trade Doesn’t Answer Buyer or Seller Question

By: Soxman

The question on every White Sox fan’s mind as the major league trade deadline approaches…“Will Kenny Williams be a buyer or a seller?”

Yesterday’s trade of minor league first baseman Brandon Allen for relief pitcher Tony Pena really didn’t answer the question either way.

Pena, 27, is 5-3 with a 4.24 ERA (16 ER/34.0 IP) and one save in 37 relief appearances with the Diamondbacks in 2009.  He leads the club with eight holds and ranks second in games pitched.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder is 16-13 with a 4.08 ERA (101 ER/222.2 IP), seven saves and 63 holds in 209 career relief outings with Arizona (2006-09).  He has limited right-handers to a .224 (100-447) lifetime average and ranks fourth among all major-league relievers since 2007 with 61 holds.

Allen, 23, is hitting .282 (84-298) with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 43 RBI in 62 combined games with Class AA Birmingham and Class AAA Charlotte.

So why is the “buy or sell” question not answered?

Let’s examine a few points:

If Kenny Williams were to sell…

Pena becomes a cost effective right-handed set-up alternative to Octavio Dotel or Scott Linebrink, who could be moved for a prospect or two.

While Allen is a promising prospect, he could argue that the Sox already have promising 1B/DH types in Dayan Vicedo or Tyler Flowers.  The future wasn’t really mortgaged here.

If Kenny Williams were to buy…

The Sox added another solid reliever to the bullpen, replacing their only weak link in Jimmy Gobble, who was designated for assignment yesterday after posting a 7.50 ERA in 12 IP.

As is, this move gives us one of the best bullpens in the game.

No one can argue with that.  Is this trade a prelude of things to come?  No one knows but Kenny Williams.  He likes it that way.

Keep those white flags in the closet for now Sox fans.