Granted, the White Sox gave up a top-flight arm in their starting rotation when they unloaded Edwin Jackson along with Mark Teahen in a cost-cutting trade last month. Losing Jackson caused more than a few players to wince in the Sox clubhouse.
But adding right-hander Jason Frasor, the winning pitcher in the 14-inning marathon against the Indians on Tuesday night, arguably gives the Sox one of the best bullpens in baseball from top to bottom.
There is no more important commodity down the stretch and in the post-season than a strong pen.
"The acquisition of Frasor, that gives us a great bullpen,'' Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said before the White Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians 4-1 on Wednesday night. "We were good. Having Frasor there makes this thing better.''
Spot starter Zach Stewart, who came with Frasor from Toronto, is also there for depth. Stewart mopped up on Wednesday, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Buehrle (10-6).
With lefties Chris Sale, Matt Thornton and Will Ohman and right-handers Sergio Santos, Jesse Crain and Frasor, the Sox have pitchers doing mop-up duty who would be setting up for other teams in one-run games.
"We have so many different options down there, it's amazing,'' Thornton said. "With the addition of Frasor to go with Sergio and Sale - who I think have the best right-handed and left-handed sliders in baseball -- it's been a lot fun to watch. There are so many options for our coaching staff.''
The bullpen owns a 2.50 ERA over its last 51 games, allowing 121 hits with 169 strikeouts over 151 1/3 innings in that span.
Jackson, by the way, is 2-1 with a 4.62 ERA in four starts with the St. Louis Cardinals, who acquired him from the Blue Jays. Teahen was one-for-eight, his only hit a homer, for Toronto.