Sunday, December 06, 2009

Brad Penny Takes A Risk

Maybe Brad Penny knows what he is doing. Maybe he'll get a multi-year offer from somebody for more than he's worth. But it seemed like he was in a good spot in San Francisco after a disastrous stay in Boston which followed a disastrous 2008 in Los Angeles. The Giants offered Penny a one year deal with incentives (according to this story), but he turned them down. It seems to this writer that having a good year with the Giants following his successful stint with them down the stretch would have re-established his value and would set him up for a better offer in 2011.

But that's not the way Penny played it. He turned the Giants' offer down which means he must feel there are greener pastures out there. Of course it is conceivable that desperate teams like the Astros, Brewers and others might get jiggy with it and offer him above-market value money and time. But that's a big hope. It didn't work out so well for Bobby Abreu last year. But Penny is a pitcher with some life left in his arm and that puts him in a different situation than just another corner outfielder.

But still, Penny went 4-1 with the Giants pitching in a pitchers' ballpark and finished his stint there with a 2.56 ERA. Those are great numbers. If he found a home there and a comfort level, there is no reason why he couldn't have built on that success and won sixteen games for the Giants. There would be no pressure on him as there are two great pitchers there ahead of him on the depth chart. If Penny could have won those 16 games building on his San Fran stint of 2009, then he would have been perfectly set up for a 2011 free agency run.

Penny is probably right that somebody will sign him for a couple of years with a hope and a prayer. Maybe Penny has parlayed this correctly. But the Fan doubts it will work out as well as it could have in the city by the bay.


Josh Borenstein said...

I'm with you. He pitched well at a pitcher's park. With Lincecum and Cain at the front end of the rotation, he was in a no-pressure situation. Not a smart move.

Steve G. said...

I don't see a dollar amount in the story you linked to about Penny, so I can't really fault him for turning down a deal I don't know anything about. For example, if it was $1 million or less, then I think he can get that from just about any team.

If that's the case, why shouldn't he test the market and see if 1) he can get more guaranteed money or 2) play for a team or market that meets his conditions better? Penny isn't, say, Miguel Cairo or Mike Sweeney, guys who should just be happy that they're getting NRIs or small guaranteed deals.