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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

White Sox - Acquired Pena (the non-lousy one)

Chicago White Sox - Acquired P Tony Pena from the Arizona Diamondbacks for 1B Brandon Allen

This strikes me as a rather strange move, though I won’t get too creative with bashing it as White Sox moves I like tend to bomb and White moves I hate tend to succeed.

Allen has been a bit disappointing this season, hitting 290/372/452 for Birmingham after going 275/358/614 for the Barons last season, but the Sox aren’t exactly awash with hitting prospects on that side of the offensive spectrum and the Nerk isn’t going to be the starter at the cold corner forever.  If there were a desperate need for a bullpen arm for the pennant race, I can understand it (Allen isn’t a top-shelf prospect).  But while Pena’s a reliever with value, the epitome of league-average, he also should be no higher than the 3rd righty option in the bullpen (ignoring Jenks) behind Linebrink and the rejuvenated K-Tel.

For the Diamondbacks, this was an opportunity to improve their minor league depth at the position.  The 1B prospect depth they have had in recent years has largely been bled off for one reason or another and Allen would be the youngest 1B prospect above A-ball for the team.  Allen’s hardly an iron lock to ever be anything in the majors, but he’s worth hanging onto in the minors and seeing what happens.

2009 ZIPS Projection - Brandon Allen
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI   BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG
Year-to-Date   310   38   79 13   1   7   35   20   63   1 .255 .301 .371
Rest-of-Year   286   37   72 14   1 13   41   19   69   5 .253 .302 .450


2009 ZIPS Projection - Tony Pena
            W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER   HR   BB   SO   ERA
Year-to-Date   5   3   37   0   34.0   41   16   3   11   26 4.24
Rest-of-Year   3   2   36   0   37.3   38   17   4   11   28 4.10
Total         8   5   73   0   71.3   79   33   7   22   54 4.16

Year-to-date totals include minor-league translations, if applicable.

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Dan Szymborski Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:12 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:56 PM (#3245973)
the Sox aren't exactly awash with hitting prospects on that side of the offensive spectrum and the Nerk isn't going to be the starter at the cold corner forever.

Well, maybe. Tyler Flowers could end up a first baseman, and so could Dayan Viciedo. Heck, I could see Carlos Quentin ending up at first base.

The puzzling thing to me isn't that they dealt Allen, but that they made an effort to get Pena. Pena doesn't seem that interesting to me, and they don't really need him right now. I guess we'll see how this pans out.
   2. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:04 PM (#3245989)
Viciedo is extremely speculative at this point considering he's been pretty overmatched at AA.

He's adjusting pretty well, actually. He started out slow, but has been improving every month. And if his age is to be believed, he's really, really young for AA. But we'll see how it goes for him.

But you're right that Allen wasn't a bad piece to have in the Sox organization. I was sort of hoping that he'd take over at 1B in 2010, with Thome retiring/moving on and Konerko moving to DH. I honestly don't know what they'll do next year now.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 08, 2009 at 06:58 PM (#3246134)
But you're right that Allen wasn't a bad piece to have in the Sox organization.

Brandon Allen is a left-handed hitting, non-injury prone version of Jason Stokes - outstanding power when he connects, but who doesn't connect enough and who hasn't learned to lay off pitches that he can't handle.

-- MWE
   4. 1k5v3L Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:14 PM (#3246153)
And here I hoped Allen would be a better defensive version of Ryan Howard...
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:17 PM (#3246163)
And here I hoped Allen would be a better defensive version of Ryan Howard...

Well, he is pretty good defensively.

-- MWE
   6. 1k5v3L Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:42 PM (#3246203)
Silver linings, right? :)

I was looking at the Howard and Allen stats at the same levels last night. They most likely don't mean anything, but I found them interesting nonetheless.

Howard, as a 22 year old, in the SALL, had .828 OPS and 19 HR, 66BB, 145K (570 PA)
Allen, as a 21 year old, in the SALL, had .819 OPS and 18 HR, 39 BB, 124K (561 PA)

Howard, as a 23 year old, in high A FLOR, had .889 OPS, 23 HR, 50BB, 151K (553 PA)
Allen, as a 22 year old, in high A CARL/SOU AA, had .922 OPS, 29 HR, 60BB, 124K (539 PA)

Howard, as a 24 year old, in AA EL had a monster season, 1.033 OPS, 37 HR, 46BB, 122 K (433 PA)
OTOH, Allen, as a 23 year old, in AA SOU, had a step back with .825 OPS, 7 HR, 30 BB, 47 K (274 PA)
Then he was promoted to AAA INT league where he's really struggled over 15 games

This season, Allen's production has been quite disappointing, especially in light of his last two full seasons.
Am not sure anyone expected him to go all Ryan Howard on the Southern league, but he definitely took a step back.

I definitely don't think he'll be another Ryan Howard in the majors; heck, even Howard is struggling to be Howard-like these days
But if he can give the Dbacks 25-30 home runs a year with .275 BA, decent OBP and acceptable D at 1b, they'll gladly take it
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:50 PM (#3246220)
I had read that Pena is a likely option to replace Jenks as closer next year. I have no idea if that's true or not.

I don't think Allen is great, but he has a decent shot at being good, and I'll take six years of a good 1B over three years of a very good reliever any day.
   8. 1k5v3L Posted: July 08, 2009 at 08:00 PM (#3246241)
Pena career splits:

vs. LHB, 1.59 WHIP, .296 BAA, .356 OBPA, .556 SLGA, .861 OPSA, 1.86 SO/BB (452 PA)
vs. RHB, 1.05 WHIP, .224 BAA, .280 OBPA, .327 SLGA, .607 OPSA, 3.01 SO/BB (493 PA)

IOW, he's a veritable ROOGY
   9. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: July 08, 2009 at 08:10 PM (#3246266)
Maybe the Sox see something in Pena that Don Cooper can fix, like they did with Thornton and Floyd. Pena seems like an odd guy to seek out, otherwise.
   10. Justin T Posted: July 08, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3246268)
I have the impression of Kenny Williams as being one of those guys who, when he gives up a prospect, rarely gets burnt by it. Jeremy Reed stands out. Ryan Sweeney is ok for the A's and would be most helpful in CF for the Sox, and I think Gio Gonzalez might turn out ok but that hasn't happened thus far. And De Los Santos got hurt.

Go back to his first deal for Todd Ritchie, which I though was bonkers. The guys he traded there had careers, but not good ones.

Has he been burned at all? Most prospects won't turn into stars, of course, but I think he's done a better than average job of avoiding mistakes in that area.
   11. 1k5v3L Posted: July 08, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3246300)
Pena is a solid reliever, especially if used properly (i.e., not used against a lot of lefties).
My point is that it's hard for a guy to dominate as a closer if he's hit so badly by LHB.
But maybe Cooper will be able to fix that; it's not something the Dbacks could do...
   12. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: July 08, 2009 at 09:12 PM (#3246372)
I don't know 17th pick, the White Sox have enough 4th outfielders masquerading as starting CF. Sweeney is mediocre on defense (which would be OK if he could hit, but he can't) and would only add to the glut of bad starting CF they have.

He has some upside sure, but it's not a lot.

The only prospect KW dealt that I was really sad to see go (and thought he'd get burnt big time) was Chris Young. Yikes was I wrong there.

I'm "meh" on this deal but KW has earned the benefit of the doubt IMO. With Don Cooper being one of the best in the biz there is a small chance that Pena turns into a late inning guy that slots in nicely behind Jenks, Thornton and Dotel. I left out Liney, who should see less innings and less high leverage ones especially now that Pena is aboard. Worst case Pena means Gobble doesn't pitch anymore, I can live with that.
   13. 1k5v3L Posted: July 08, 2009 at 09:46 PM (#3246447)
Young has been a pretty terrible disappointment. Seems like a waste of a lot of money right now.
Stephen Drew is also swimming in that sea of mediocrity/disappointment. Typical Drew, of course.
   14. ValueArb Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:10 PM (#3250210)
If Youngs defense is great he's not a terrible disappoinmtment. He doesn't have to be that great at the plate to be useful and justify that contract. If this is just a slump by a mediocre hitter who goes back to being mediocre the contract/deal are okay.

notice how many ifs are in that paragraph.

I think the DBacks get the up front value in this deal, and if the White Sox pitching coaches can fix a flaw in TP's approach to left handed hitters, they'll create a lot of back end value. If they just recieve the privilege of paying TP arb money for his career averages, it's a waste, but probably a small one.

The DBacks have nothing at first, so if this Allen kid turns out to be usable at all it's a nice win. This could easily be a win-win deal, or a small lose-lose deal for both teams.
   15. 1k5v3L Posted: July 11, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3250222)
Brandon Allen is sporting 1.800 OPS in Reno. Call him up :)
   16. 1k5v3L Posted: July 22, 2009 at 06:25 PM (#3263106)
Brandon Allen, after 10 games with Reno: 33 AB, 5 HR, 7 BB, 4 K, 2 SB, .364/.488/.879/1.367
Good enough for MLE of 0.286/0.390/0.686/1.076 (from
First ballot Hall of Famer? :)

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