Brad Penny set to sign with Boston

The Boston Red Sox are on the cusp of signing Brad Penny to join the rotation, reports Ken Rosenthal:

Penny, who would be in the Red Sox’s starting rotation, will have to

take a physical and the two sides are still working out the language of

the contract.

Penny, 29, struggled last season with the Dodgers,

going 6-9 with a 6.27 in 17 starts and two relief appearances. He was

shut down in September and placed on the 60-day disabled list with a

sore right shoulder.

Penny posted a career year in 2007 by throwing 208 innings with 16 wins and a career-low 3.03 ERA.

Penny was one of the options I mused about a couple weeks ago.

I would be a big fan of this signing, as he is only one year removed from being on top of the world as a starting pitcher as he also tied for the league lead in wins in 2006.

Anytime someone struggles with injuries, you can’t expect to play well. At just 29, Penny has plenty of years left to contribute and could be a great buy-low option that would enable Justin Masterson to remain in the bullpen.

I’m sure some Red Sox fans will be aghast that “this is our response to the Yankee signings!?” and to that I have two things to say… one: Obviously not… we still need a catcher and a bullpen, so more is to come. Two: The day that we react to Yankee moves instead of acting of our own volition is the day we concede the division title to them.

If Penny continues to have injury issues, the Red Sox then have the flexibility to put Masterson, Clay Buchholz or Michael Bowden in the rotation.

UPDATE 9:20 PM: The deal is $5 million guaranteed, says Sean McAdam. If he pitches over 160 innings, he is eligible for an additional $3 million.

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