Penny Deal Done, Pending Physical
By John Parent
According to MLB.com, the Tigers have reached an agreement with right hander Brad Penny. As I noted earlier, the deal is believed to be a one-year pact that will pay him $3 million in base salary, plus an additional $3 million possible through incentives. Those financial figures via ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Penny should provide an instant upgrade to the Tigers rotation in 2011. It is assumed that he will compete with Armando Galarraga for the fifth starter’s role, but in all seriousness, Penny shouldn’t have much difficulty winning the job. Between Galarraga’s career track record of inconsistent performances and his typical lack of success in Spring training, Galarraga is entering the competition already a step behind. You don’t commit that much money to a guy if you’re not counting on him to be a major piece of the puzzle. Unless Penny winds up hurt before Opening Day, Galarraga will have to settle for a relief role, or possible a trade out of town.
In order to make the deal official, the Tigers will have to make a roster move. The 40-man roster is already full and with Penny signing a major league deal, a player will need to be designated for assignment to allow space to add Penny. I don’t think Galarraga is in any danger here just because the Tigers lack a long reliever as the roster stands now.
The problem is, unless the Tigers decide to reconsider on some of the arms they added to the roster ahead of the Rule V draft, you could be looking at a guy like Clete Thomas or possibly a Don Kelly that gets moved off the roster. In either case, I expect that player to be snatched up quickly by another club. If I had to guess, I’d look for one of the young arms to be DFA’d, with the hopes that since those guys are still a little ways away from contributing to the major league club, they might slip through waivers.
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