Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sox Sign Brad Penny

The Red Sox signed Brad Penny to a one year deal for $5 million. That's a nice little pick up for them to beef up the back end of the rotation. If he can make pitch 170 innings and keep his ERA at 4.00 or below, I would definitely take that to compliment Beckett, Dice-K, and Jon Lester.

9 comments:

Joey said...

170 and an ERA under 4.00 would be a belated christmas miracle. I would take a Paul Byrd 140 innings 4.50 ERA

Peter said...

Yea Penny is a decent low risk pick up but I doubt he has any huge upside with a bum shoulder and a trip from the AAAA NL West to the real deal AL East.

Dennis said...

I think you are greatly underestimating Mr. Penny. He is 94-75 in his career with a 4.06 ERA and a WHIP of 1.34, including 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in the 2003 World Series.

If you compare his contract to his rotation mates that came up with the Marlins (Burnett, Beckett, Pavano, Willis) there is no comparison, but if you compare their performance it is a different story. Beckett (89-62, 3.78 ERA) and Burnett (87-76, 3.81) have slightly better numbers, but have both pitched far less innings per season than Penny.

I'll have mercy on Pete and not list Pavano's stats, and we all know Willis has fallen off a cliff.

My point, and I do have one, is that we should not be at all surprised to see Penny make 30 starts, pitch about 180 innings, and go 16-9 with an ERA of about 4.

Peter said...

All valid points Dennis, but aside from Penny's 12 innings n the World Series and his three in all-star appearances, he has faced dreadful competition in the NL West while Beckett and Burnett have been toiling away in the labyrinth that is the AL East. Now Burnett hasn't been healthy on a consistent basis everyone knows that, even Burnett. But look at their peripherals. Burnett's k/bb has held steady between 2.51 and 3.03 since 2005. Penny on the other hand has seen his go through the floor from a career high of 2.98 in '05 to an abysmal 1.21 last year.

Penny could perform at a Cy Young level or he could be at the end of his rope and his shoulder could be ready to fall off. There's a reason the best deal he could get was for only one year and a base salary of $5 mil.

Dennis said...

The reason Penny was bad last season was because he played hurt. He made 17 starts because the Dodgers needed him to. Burnett wouldn't do that. And Penny spent most of his career with the Marlins, as did Burnett, and Beckett, so when you look at career numbers they are against similar competition.

Peter said...

Yea and his injury was a shoulder injury which is more concerning than any other type of injury for a pitcher. Plus the most relevant of their stats to compare is their most recent and none of those pitchers have pitched in the NL East for three years and in Penny's case the past four and a half. Maybe in 2005 their numbers would stack up evenly, but they haven't since 2003.

Dan said...

In any case, he is worth the risk. His contract is also laden with about $3 million in incentives to encourage him. If he is productive then great. If not, I'm not going to feel that the Red Sox got taken or anything. Just as long as they don't continue to pitch him if he is really struggling and hurting more than helping.

Dennis said...

Well, moving on from that, who has the better rotation?

At the top it's Sabathia vs. Beckett, Lester vs. Burnett, and Dice-K vs. Wang.

The 4 & 5 spots are a little up in the air, but at this point I would have to say Chamberlain vs. Penny and Wakefield vs. Hughes.

Dan said...

Excellent question. By virtue of C.C. I would have to give it to NY. In a 7 game series he could pitch 3 times if necessary. Although, the Sox have hit him well in the past. Everything else seems to be a wash, unless Joba really breaks out this year.