Source: Tigers, Brad Penny agree to deal

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.