Penny Could've Been Perfect Low-Risk, High-Reward Move – Phillies Nation

Penny Could've Been Perfect Low-Risk, High-Reward Move

The Red Sox recently signed right-handed pitcher Brad Penny to a one-year, $5M deal. The deal includes an additional $3M in performance incentives.

Some of you may remember me spreading the idea that Penny would be a fantastic signing for the Phillies. For $5 million and one year, he’s a steal. Originally, I thought Penny would require $7M-$8M at the least, and potentially a two-year deal, but the Sox are really getting a coup here.

Penny has a career 4.06 ERA, and is coming off a 2007 that was his best season yet. While his 2008 was horrible statistically, it mostly came from a ton of injuries. Now healthy, Penny may not reel off the same ace-worthy season that he produced in 2007, but it could be very close.

Of course, I’ve been wrong. I stated Bartolo Colon would be a coup in 2008. The Red Sox signed him too, and he started OK (4-2, 3.92 ERA) but suffered an injury (against the Phils, no less) that ended his campaign. Hey, it worked for a while.

But Penny is one of those low-risk, high-reward moves that a top team like the Phils are known to bank from. The Sox might very well have that luck in 2009. I do wish the shot was taken.



  1. Mike T.

    December 30, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    the phillies absolutely fell asleep on this one. no excuse.

  2. Brian

    December 30, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Although I am not against the Park signing, they could have used that 2.5 mil towards a more established guy like Penny.

  3. Geoff

    December 30, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    That guy quit on himself and on his team last year. I dont want quitters on this team. They won the World Series because theyre not quitters. Maybe he rebounds in Boston, and if he does, then good for them. Expect Boston to toss some more money around on players they dont need.

    For Brad Penny or Derek Lowe to come, someone has to go from the rotation. You know it wont be any of the lefties (hamels, happ (talented, young, cheap), moyer(just resigned)) so its either blanton (too new to trade) or myers (bingo) to go. so by signing derek lowe, like everyone wants, you can safely assume theyll trade brett myers to make up for it. nobody is going to sign oliver perez so hell come crawling back to the mets. the dodgers will sign either randy wolf orjon garland. ill bet the astros sign odalis perez.

    Since body is going to give you a mlb ready starter for brett myers then youre really just moving him for prospects with upside to be ready in a year or two. so its basically a clean swap of lowe/penny/any remaining free agent starter for myers.

    I really just cant see them going that route. I like moyer and all, but im not sure that was the best signing. youd like to give carrasco a year to polish himself and be ready for when myers leaves, but with moyer you may need him before that. i think it was a mistake to give moyer two years, one year is fine. but two is creating a logjam next year when you dont really need that.

  4. Geoff

    December 30, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    watch them go and sign derrick turnbow and hope he can hit the broadside of a barn this time.

  5. Don M

    December 30, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    $5 M …isn’t really “low-risk”… is it?

    When your entire team is either due a raise through their contract, or they’ll get it in arbitration, $5 M sure makes a big difference…

    He’s a “name,” not a great starting pitcher

  6. Don M

    December 30, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    He had great years in 2004, and 2007… outside of that, he’s been good…. coming off an injury to your throwing shoulder.. Tom Gordon, Freddy Garcia… you don’t add Brad Penny to that list just for the hell of it.

    Joe Blanton and JA Happ will surprise people this year

  7. Don M

    December 30, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Two years may have been a “mistake” in some people’s eyes for Moyer… but if that was the deal-breaker, if he wanted that 2nd year or he was going to walk, im glad we still have him.

    With the defense we have behind him, and the run support that we can give him, there is no reason why he can’t keep going out, eating innings, giving us a great chance to win every 5th day

  8. NJ

    December 30, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Park’s pretty established. Penny’s definately not a coup for the Red Sox and Colon ended up as a low risk headache for the Sox which ended up in him running out on his contract. There was a reason he’s hung around on the market so long without being signed by teams desperate for pitching like the Rockies. He might come good in the back-end of the Sox rotation but he’s expensive for a rotation filler, has a horrible record against AL hitting and a headache of an attitude.

    The health issues haven’t lessened on Penny, though the name looks nice on paper he wasn’t a great fit in Philly. Though I’d expect him to sign with the Pirates or Marlins, signing Turnbow to a minor-league deal would be a coup since he’d be potentially the best reliever in line for a call-up.

  9. Geoff

    December 30, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    blantons due for a breakout season…16 wins maybe ERA around the 4 equator, maybe slightly below. ja happ is going to burst onto the scene with 14-18 wins sub 4 era depending on who you ask…all you have to do is look at their stuff and mental makeup. much more composed and experienced than eaton and kendrick. thats why the rotations better. you have blanton and happ all season now. the game the phillies saw penny last year, he had no heart, got knocked around early and then got pulled from the game shamefully. showed no stuff, no heart, no fight, no nothing. i really dotn think the phillies should sign him for any amount of money.

  10. NJ

    December 30, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I don’t know about Happ bursting onto the scene on the level of Joe Saunders but the kids got game, he’s not going to be there just to warm up a seat in the rotation.

    As for Blanton I’m really laughing at the idea he’s Jon Garland, it’s only Oakland miscasting him as a front-line pitcher last year that has given this idea he’s due a breakout after failing to reach his full talent. He struggled last year and wasn’t fully healthy when pitching down the stretch and isn’t a frontline pithcer. He’s one of the best bonifide middle of the rotation pitchers in the game, his ERA won’t be stellar, he’ll rarely will wow with a stellar performance and he probably won’t look very different to the Joe Blanton we’ve already seen. That said once alls said and done your looking at a guy right bang in the middle of your rotation that’s going to eat innings like no other and give some protection to the pen before the back-end of that rotation.

    Anyone can win a dozen games+ with the run support, those two guys are going to mean more than wins, stability and continuity aren’t flashy but I’ll take Blanton over the ’15 wins’ of Oliver Perez.

  11. psujoe

    December 30, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    No way on Turnbow. Yuk. What slot in the rotation would penney have taken? Moyers or the 5 slot?

  12. Chuck P

    December 30, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Penny is toast… his days of throwing mid 90’s are all but over. The article posted shows a great comparison between Brad Penny pre and post shoulder injury. Upon return, he wasn’t able or willing to throw hard. It just wasn’t there. Whether he’s thinking about the shoulder or the shoulder is limiting his velocity, I dont think that it’s going to change this year considering his latest injury setback was in late 2008. Park is a better lower-risk ($$) one-year audition addition, in my opinion. For us, that $5 million is better spent elsewhere. The Red Sox have done this before (Wade Miller, Bartolo Colon) and it hasn’t panned out but eventually they hope to get lucky.

  13. Eric R

    December 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Penny could rebound but he could have just as easily been Adam Eaton 2.0. He gives up a lot of fly balls that would not look good sailing out of CBP.

  14. Don M

    December 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Penny is a fat, injured pitcher….with a mohawk..

  15. Robbi P

    December 30, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Don M, way to be objective with Stats, if we went with people who were fat myers, howard and blanton would be off the team. haha

    I think the Phillies are going to sign someone out of nowhere again that no one saw coming.

  16. Phils Are joedaddy

    December 30, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    $5 million is not low risk. The Phils can’t afford to waste $5 million on what looks to be a longshot. Hey, I also heard Andruw Jones is available for a steal.

  17. The Dipsy

    December 30, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Well, Turnbow would be nice in the pen. But Lowe has got to be thinking “tick, tock” right now. Boras held Lohse out last year and he signed for dogshit money. Lowe’s not Lohse but does he really wanna be unsigned when pitchers and catchers report? There’s no way way you go with three lefties in the starting rotation (Don, Geoff). I think Happ will eventually end up getting traded. He’s one of those “not good enough for your team but can bring something in a trade” guys. I’m thinking Happ and Jenkins for a nice righthanded bat. Is it me, or is Sam Donellon a gonad?

    The Dipsy
    Chairman of the Derek Lowe in Pinstripes Committee

  18. Greg V.

    December 30, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Penny is a stiff! Though it would be nice to see Alyssa Millano hanging out at CBP (I believe they are dating).

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