Penny Wise…

Reports indicate the Sox will sign Brad Penny to a 1-year deal. The big righthander had shoulder problems and lousy numbers in abbreviated work last season, after two solid campaigns for the Dodgers. By my quick count, this is player number 7 from the 2003 Marlins World Series championship team drafted into The Rivalry. Results have been mixed, to say the least. 

17 comments… add one
  • it looks as though the sox have signed josh bard again as well. guess that makes him our opening day catcher. can’t wait.

    sf rod December 28, 2008, 9:24 pm
  • …Teixeira-foolish? Did I do it right?
    I hope, for the Sox sake, that they’re not actually planning on slotting him in as a regular rotation member.

    AndrewYF December 28, 2008, 9:41 pm
  • Low-risk, high reward. We’ll see what happens.

    SF December 28, 2008, 10:08 pm
  • Seems like a good signing…basically let Wakefield, Penny, Masterson and Bucholtz hold down the 4th and 5th spot depending on effectiveness/injuries.

    Justin December 28, 2008, 10:09 pm
  • I really don’t think Masterson is going to be a starter next year.

    AndrewYF December 28, 2008, 10:36 pm
  • Two moves with high upside and little penalty in failure. Love ’em. continues posting Penny’s interleague numbers as though they really are a sufficient sample size to mean something, whereas the dumbassitude of postings is around .382. It’s quaint they still exist. The Sporting News too.

    Hit Dog December 29, 2008, 2:47 am
  • I’m not really sure I understand this move. Sheets could be had for a bit more. He’s the much better pitcher and was even healthier last year. If you’re going to spend up to $8 million on Penny, why not spend up to $13 million on a guy like Sheets? Then you look below the surface and see that even in Penny’s most recent “successful” season (2007) he still had a 1.31 WHIP and a less than 2:1 K:BB. Maybe they catch some lightning but I don’t see how it’s anything better than a league average innings eater. That’s not as good as Masterson and much more expensive. Again, Sheets still makes the most sense.
    The report I read said Bard was signed to a non-guaranteed deal. So first he has to make the club, and that probably depends on whether they make any other moves with Varitek or a trade. Bard may bounce back, but last year the word out of San Diego is he forget how to hit even as he never learned to catch. In 2007 he gave up 121 stolen bases against 10 caught runners (!) in 108 games. In 2008 it was 53 SB (and 10 CS) in 49 games. With those numbers, I can’t see how Theo has him in mind for anything more than backup duty.

    Rob December 29, 2008, 7:31 am
  • I assume this is a little Tim Wakefield/Buchholz/5th starter insurance (if Wake retires like many rumors seem to indicate or if his shoulder is still bad, also speculated), he’s at about the same salary value. We don’t know the contract specifics, but if he doesn’t make the roster I wonder if the Sox will be on the hook for all $5M. I would think that his salary is contingent on making the Major League roster. There’s just almost no risk in this deal, other than Penny making the team then sucking eggs, which is of course a real risk, but at least it is for (relatively) short money.
    Regarding Sheets, the Sox don’t give up a draft pick to sign Penny, I believe they would to sign Sheets. So they are saving potentially $10M (or more, Sheets rejected $12M in arb so may be looking for a two year deal, who knows) and the draft pick. And they still can sign Sheets if they decide to pursue, he’s a free agent as of today.
    There’s really very little downside to this deal. He may be Wade Miller, he may be Bartolo Colon, he may also be Brad Penny of 2006-7. Though that is a bit of a longshot, it’s still a possibility. This is a depth move, and I think the Sox will still make a couple more this offseason.

    SF December 29, 2008, 9:17 am
  • All reports I’ve seen say it’s a guaranteed contract for Penny. So that’s at least $5 million either way.
    For about same money (and with the incentives), why not sign a very good reliever like Fuentes, or take a one-year risk with a guy like Howry or Hoffman, then move Masterson to the rotation?
    Even if Sheets wants a two-year deal for $26 million, that would be money mostly well-spent. He’s had injury issues, but he’s almost always good (except one year in his career) for 140 innings. Plus, with the pitching depth, the Sox could bring Sheets along slowly then have him strong for the second half and the post-season.
    The Bard signing, to me, says they’re not done yet.

    Rob December 29, 2008, 10:09 am
  • There’s also Braden Looper who could probably be had for the same money, doesn’t have the injury risk, and could work out of the pen if not eat innings in the rotation.

    Rob December 29, 2008, 10:18 am
  • Nice move by the Sox. It’s hard to see the downside here. The Sox are a wealthy franchise that afford to take a $5 million flier on a pitcher like Penny. The opportunity costs are minimal.

    Nick-YF December 29, 2008, 10:18 am
  • Penny used to mess around with Alyssa Milano so he’s a legend in my book already…good deal for the Sox I think. As was stated earlier, low risk/high reward situation.

    krueg December 29, 2008, 10:21 am
  • The Bard signing is an interesting one from a negotiation standpoint in re: Tek. Scott Boras isn’t dumb enough to think the Sox are going to play Bard every day — Bard simply isn’t a proven regular, 550AB kind of guy. So the Sox are still players for Tek, I think, but his value and his leverage with the Sox just got weaker. Between Bard/Brown/Kotteras, the Sox may think they can scrape 600AB. I don’t feel very comfortable with that group at all, but from a baseball standpoint it’s not undoable and thus impacts Tek’s dealings with the Red Sox.
    I am really curious to see where Tek lands and for how much. I actually find the Tek situation much more interesting, from a business/negotiation standpoint, than what happened with Teixeira.

    SF December 29, 2008, 11:32 am
  • I’m with you Tek’s negotiations. I also find it fascinating. Seems like Pudge would sign first because no picks are at stake and because his bat and glove are still a bit better. What was Boras thinking in rejecting arbitration and what was Theo thinking in offering? There must have been some side deal, right? How can Varitek get even $10 million over two years?

    Rob December 29, 2008, 11:50 am
  • A couple of things I can think of are (a) Boras screwed up and misjudged or (b) Tek doesn’t actually want to play for Boston anymore, regardless of the money. I don’t know what I believe at this point.
    As for Theo, he may have suspected that Boras would always opt for free agency since that is what he almost universally does when given the option, thus it wasn’t really that risky an offer. And, by offering, he potentially garners a draft pick. Seems like it was a shrewd move, not a hugely risky one. The downside was one more year of Tek, something they probably weren’t too worried about, even at $10M. It’s a short engagement.

    SF December 29, 2008, 12:51 pm
  • “A couple of things I can think of are (a) Boras screwed up and misjudged or (b) Tek doesn’t actually want to play for Boston anymore”
    Maybe (probably) it’s just a matter of both misjudging the market, which, just like the economy, died fast and furious. There are a lot of (better) players stuck just as Tek is.
    I think Theo is projecting Penny as a reliever. Penny’s nasty delivery had always portended a time limit on his career, but decreasing his IP could help. I happen to believe that if his arm is not completely shot he would make a fine closer, given time.

    Dirty Water December 29, 2008, 8:42 pm
  • Brad Penny will be 30 in May and is guaranteed $5 million for one year.
    Lifetime – 1460 innings, 1.34 WHIP, 4.06 ERA, 94-75 record.
    A.J. Burnett is 32 and guaranteed $82.5 million for 5 years.
    Lifetime – 1376 innings, 1.28 WHIP, 3.81 ERA, 84-76 record.
    Yes, both have a history of injuries. However, Burnett has won more than 12 games once; Penny has done it 3 times.

    TJ Sox Fan December 30, 2008, 10:18 am

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