The Detroit Tigers and free-agent starter Brad Penny have agreed
to a one-year, $3 million contract, according to a source.
Penny, 32, will have the chance to earn $3 million more through
incentives. He should arrive at spring training next month with a
strong chance to be Detroit’s fifth starter. Armando
Galarraga, coming off a poor September performance, is the other
main competitor for the job.
The other four spots in the Tigers’ rotation appear set:
Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and converted
reliever Phil Coke, the only left-hander.
With Penny, the question is less about ability and more about
health. He went 3-4 with a 3.23 ERA in nine starts with the St.
Louis Cardinals in 2010 before being placed on the disabled list
with a season-ending upper-back strain in May.
Penny had a 5.61 ERA in 24 starts with the Boston Red Sox in
2009, his only prior stint with an American League club. But the AL
East is more rugged for pitchers than the AL Central.
Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers’ club president/general
manager, is very familiar with Penny: Dombrowski acquired him in
1999 while GM of the Florida Marlins.