Red Sox Pick Up Penny

The Boston Red Sox have signed Brad Penny to a one-year, $5M contract, which can reach $8M through incentives.

Nice pickup by the Bosox, and a good fit for the somewhat troubled righthander. Penny has the potential to be a dominating starter with ace-like stuff, but his injury-riddled and underperforming 2008, lackluster work ethic, and abrasive personality make him a question mark. Since Boston needs him only to fill out the back end of the rotation, and have Justin Masterson as a backup, it’s an ideal low-risk, high-reward gamble for them. From Penny’s perspective, he has an opportunity to rejuvenate his career, and position himself for a ridiculous contract next winter — all he has to do is win 14-20 games in the beastly AL East.

I don’t believe the Mets were ever rumored to be interested in Penny, which is slightly disappointing. Those who only saw Penny against the Mets probably came away unimpressed, as Penny struggled mightily against the orange and blue, particularly at Shea. However, when healthy, he’s the righthanded version of Oliver Perez — some days he looks unhittable, other days he can’t get out of the fourth inning. On a one-year, $5M deal, I would have hoped the Mets at least kicked the tires on him — even though I hate him almost as much as Scott Olsen. At the end of the day, though, he doesn’t seem to have the type of personality that can handle New York. That said, it will be interesting to see how he fares in Boston, whose media and fan base can be just as, if not more, demanding than NYC.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude December 29, 2008 at 9:05 am
    He’s the Red Sox’ version of Bartolo Colon circa last offseason. An accomplished yet damaged pitcher who has the ability to be an ace but will only be asked to be a #5, when healthy. It’s nice to be Boston and be able to take gambles on pitchers of this caliber when you have the likes of Masterson and Buchholz waiting in reserve. How sweet would it be if Penny winds up having a better season than AJ Burnett, which I think is real possibility?
  2. Micalpalyn December 29, 2008 at 9:17 am
    Exactly dude. But to add on he is not unlike what Omar is looking for in the #5 hole, while we find out more about Niese, BP, and Brad Holt. Pel, Maine and Johan are the only SPs we have penciled in for next yr and Maine is hurt and (sorry dude) Pel could retreat from the double digit win total last yr. …..

    Lowe represents consistency, 33 starts and a sub 4 ERA. so Omar is likely to make similar gambles on a starter.

  3. sincekindergarten December 29, 2008 at 10:28 am
    Over at MetsBlog, Matt has a piece where the market for both Lowe and Ollie Perez has dried up to the point where there’s only one suitor left–the Mets. $cott Bora$ is now getting his medicine used on him.

    I’ll miss Penny–the Mets have done well against him in the past.

  4. Micalpalyn December 29, 2008 at 8:14 pm
    +speaking of Metsblog, It appears your ‘idea’ of a Castilo for Jones swap could happen………and u thought nobody was reading……
  5. joe December 29, 2008 at 11:09 pm
    Mic – it’s funny how I come up with stuff like that, ain’t it? Even funnier when people like Joel Sherman claim they “originally proposed” such a deal.

    As much as I like the idea of Castillo for Jones, I’m not sure it’s going to happen. At the same time, I won’t be surprised if the Mets get Jones, but still have Castillo.

    Hmm … time for a new post ….

  6. sincekindergarten December 30, 2008 at 5:10 am
    Apparently, Marty Noble discounted the rumor with a piece that was posted a minute after you posted your latest reply, Joe. He said that there were discussions last month, but they went nowhere.
  7. joe December 30, 2008 at 10:20 am
    SK – yeah, saw that and addressed it in the latest post. It seems that people are just as quick to scoop a non-rumor as a rumor this winter!

    But anyway, the way I see it, discussions in the past can lead to discussions in the future — you know what I’m sayin’? Even Marty Noble should know that trades are rarely made during the first discussion. Heck, didn’t Omar tell us that the JJ Putz thing was discussed on and off over several weeks?

  8. Micalpalyn December 30, 2008 at 2:29 pm
    Obviously trade talkj sells papers. Many fans….us 2….get excited by trades. On the other hand as we discussed LAST yr, where there is smoke there is fire. Just because it was not consumated does not mean it was not tossed around.

    frankly (anfd not the new post at Metsblog) it is out there….no Omar may not have called today, but its out there. Frankly Omar HAS Church, and Colletti has his rookie starter, but the trade has some merits as Colletti wants a LF and Omar wants Hudson. Castillo could be an option at 2nd giving others more time, Jones is an option allowing Omar to use Church in trade, or keep Tatis comming from off the bench and cover for F-mart.