Tuesday, December 30, 2008
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Reports: Red Sox reach deal with RHP Brad Penny

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[December 30, 2008]  NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox and pitcher Brad Penny reached a preliminary agreement on a $5 million, one-year contract, according to several reports Monday.

CivicThe team also struck a tentative agreement with catcher Josh Bard and both deals are pending physicals, the reports said.

A two-time All-Star, the 30-year-old Penny struggled with injuries to his shoulder and side last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He went 6-9 with a 6.27 ERA in 17 starts and two relief appearances.

The big right-hander would join a talented Boston rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester and knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Penny was teammates with Beckett and Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell in Florida, helping the Marlins win the 2003 World Series.

Penny pitched well in that series against the New York Yankees, going 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts.


He was the NL starter in the 2006 All-Star game and finished that year 16-9 with a 4.33 ERA. The following season, Penny went 16-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 33 starts covering 208 innings and placed third in NL Cy Young Award voting.

According to the reports, Penny could earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses with the Red Sox. He is 94-75 with a 4.06 ERA in nine big league seasons.

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An e-mail sent by The Associated Press to Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was not immediately returned. Phone calls to Penny's agent, Greg Genske, also were not immediately returned.

Bard played seven games for Boston in 2006 but struggled to catch Wakefield's knuckler and was traded to San Diego. He batted .202 with a homer and 16 RBIs in 178 at-bats for the Padres last season.

The Red Sox need depth behind the plate -- captain Jason Varitek is a free agent.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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