Tigers, Penny agree to terms on one-year deal

The Tigers and Brad Penny closed in Monday evening on what is expected to be have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, MLB.com has learned. The deal is pending a physical.
Foxsports.com reported early Tuesday morning that the one-year deal should be worth $3 million in base salary plus incentives. The Tigers would not confirm an agreement, per their policy of not commenting on specific free agents.
Penny tweeted on his official account Monday night that he was “getting closer to finding my new home. Should know by the end of the day.” He did not tweet which team, but indications later confirmed he has decided on the Tigers. 
That possibility seemed dim Monday, when the team released its list of non-roster invitees that was expected to would finalize its Spring Training roster. Their chances at adding a starting pitcher suddenly improved Monday evening, when Penny closed in on a decision.
The Tigers’ interest in Penny has been known since last month. They also have been linked to free agent starters Jeremy Bonderman — who pitched for Detroit the past eight years — and Freddy Garcia, but always appeared more focused on Penny. Talks never progressed far on Garcia or Bonderman.
Penny, who has seen his Twitter following more than double since the New Year, ranks among the better free agents left on the market in these final weeks of the offseason. He certainly has a familiarity factor in the Detroit front office. Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski gave Penny his first shot in the big leagues more than a decade ago as general manager of the Florida Marlins, who acquired Penny from Arizona in a trade for Matt Mantei in 1999 and put him in their rotation a year later. 
Since then, the right-hander has spent all but 24 starts of his 11-year career in the National League, including nine solid starts last year with the Cardinals before a strained right lat in late May persisted into a season-ending injury. His lone American League experience was a stretch in 2009 with the Red Sox, where he posted a 7-8 record and 5.21 ERA before getting his release and promptly finding his form in a late-season stint for the Giants.
Still, as long as he’s healthy, there are reasons to believe the 32-year-old is more than a National League pitcher with AL struggles.  First, the AL experience was less than a full season in Boston, with a hitter-friendly home ballpark and a selection of formidable lineups in the AL East. His .487 slugging percentage allowed with the Red Sox was by far the highest mark of his career, while his .838 OPS allowed in the same stretch was 97 points above his career number in that category.
Just as important, at this point in his career, coming off injury, he fits the profile of a low-risk, high-reward signing that would fit the Tigers’ needs. Dombrowski said last week that any signing they did make would most likely be with a one-year contract. That would especially follow for starting pitching as long as they hold onto top pitching prospects Andy Oliver and Jacob Turner, both of whom could be ready for the big leagues by season’s end and compete for rotation spots in 2012. 
The deal with Penny is expected to finish out the Tigers’ offseason dealings. Detroit is believed to be set with its position players, including invites, barring an unforeseen development. They briefly had interest in Fred Lewis earlier this offseason as a reserve outfielder, but talks didn’t progress far.

5 Comments

I put this the ranks of wait and see. This means to me that they don’t think Galarraga will be a starter or will one be in the pen???

Regardless of whether this works out in the end or not, it’s a good move, the kind you make at this point. I have to say that Dombrowski has done well the past two offseasons. We’ve gotten younger, more flexible, and haven’t had a talent drop-off. The idea is to put a contending team on the field and that has happened.
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Since Penny was signed to a contract (rather than a minor league invite), I’m not sure what it means for Galarraga.
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–Rich

a 3 mil could pan out with penny, but i sure would like to know at the end of the day why we didnt sign pavano who beat us 5 times countem 5 last year alone not to mention he will go back to the twins and beat us at least 2 this comming season. he wanted 30 mil over 3 years which is high but so is attendance when ya win . sure hope oliver has improved because hes still a minor leaguer dont fool yourself

I hope this works out for the Tigers and am happy about getting him. Ask and ye shall receive, I guess. That’s what I wanted…..another pitcher. I would imagine this will stir things up in the rotation and/or BP.
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Can hardly wait til ST. Snowing like crazy here in MI.

Brad Penny is a 32 year old eleven year veteran of the baseball wars and gives us an element that has been missing since Kenny Rogers left. He pitched for the champion Marlins in 2003, has five seasons with more than ten wins, and a career record of 108-88. That win total ranks 30th among all active pitchers. Let’s see … we have five other potential starters who should be seeking advice from him.

He was 3-0 in April in 2010 but only pitched 55 innings for the year. If you look at his entire career his odd year seasons have always included 29 or more starts. That’s where we have to cross our fingers. Bronson Arroyo is another 11 yr vet with similar numbers (103-93) and 1675 innings who Cincy just signed for three yrs for 35 mil. We all want Brad to get all his incentives to get to 6 mil or whatever it may be. Hey, let’s hope he gets a World Series check, too, just like Kenn Rogers.

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