WEDNESDAY, 3:58am: Penny has passed his physical, according to an AP release, making the deal official.
TUESDAY, 10:11am: Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that Penny will get the full $9MM if he reaches 204 innings. Also, the Cardinals agreed not to offer arbitration if Penny is a Type A free agent (a clause I'm betting will be popular this year).
5:32am: ESPN's Keith Law calls the deal "an excellent move" for the Cardinals, citing Dave Duncan's track record with reclamation projects. He also opines that this deal will probably raise the asking price for names like Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, and Justin Duchscherer.
MONDAY, 6:27pm: ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that a physical is scheduled for Tuesday, and Penny will get a one-year, $7.5MM deal with another $1.5MM in incentives. Pretty big base salary.
5:45pm: Goold wrote earlier today that a "person with knowledge of the deal" says it could be worth $9MM if all incentives are reached. Meanwhile, Baggarly has details on the Giants' failed negotiations to retain Penny.
3:14pm: Strauss tweets that the Giants have all but acknowledged Penny is gone, and the Cardinals just need to complete the physical (the money is in place). Strauss believes the Cards are still in the market for more starting pitching and wonders if they're close to their breaking point with Matt Holliday.
2:32pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Cardinals are the frontrunner for Penny but the Giants and another team remain in talks for him. Rosenthal feels that John Smoltz will have to go elsewhere if the Cards sign Penny. Derrick Goold of the P-D weighs in, suggesting the Cards might be close to a deal.
1:19pm: ESPN's Buster Olney says Penny is close to a decision, and is in serious negotiations with the Cards. The Giants are apparently still in the mix.
1:05pm: Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that buzz says the Cardinals are "in heavy" on Penny. Strauss adds that the Cardinals denied anything final with Penny, though Baggarly didn't suggest a deal was done.
12:48pm: The Cardinals are nearing a deal with Brad Penny, tweets Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. He says the Giants "don't expect to compete." Penny, 31, made 30 starts between the Red Sox and Giants this year, posting a 4.88 ERA, 5.7 K/9, and 2.6 BB/9. He's the hardest-throwing free agent starter, and would be interesting in St. Louis on a one-year deal.