Dec 7, 2009, 7:40 PM EST
Brad Penny’s one-year deal with the Cardinals is worth $7.5 million guaranteed and includes $1.5 million in incentives, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney and others.
Some will express surprise at the cash involved, given that Penny finished last season with a 4.88 ERA in 173 1/3 innings. I like the deal for the Cardinals, though. Penny has lost nothing off his fastball, and the game’s premier pitching coach, Dave Duncan, can help with everything else, as long as he doesn’t try to turn Penny into a sinkerballer.
Keeping Penny healthy has always been a challenge, but he’s almost always been an above average pitcher when he’s 100 percent. I see the Cardinals getting 14-15 wins out of him and then a draft pick or two when he leaves as a free agent next winter.
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