TUESDAY, 7:30am: The Tigers are on the verge of signing Penny to a one-year, $3MM deal, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The hard-throwing righty will be able to earn more through incentives in his second American League stint.
MONDAY, 8:22pm: ESPN's Buster Olney hears that the Tigers are the frontrunner for Penny's services (Twitter link). He would step in as their number five starter.
6:55pm: Brad Penny has drawn interest from a few teams this offseason, most notably the Tigers, and it appears he's close to making a decision about where he'll spend the 2011 season. The right-hander said he was "[g]etting close to finding [his] new home" on his Twitter account, and that he "[s]hould know by the end of the day."
The 32-year-old Penny missed the final four-plus months of the 2010 season with a shoulder strain, but he had pitched to a 3.23 ERA with 5.7 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, and a career high 52.8% ground ball rate in 55 2/3 innings with the Cardinals before the injury. If we remove his ugly 2009 stint with the Red Sox (5.61 ERA in 131 2/3 innings), Penny has pitched to a 3.82 ERA in over 900 innings since 2004.
Penny's injury did not require surgery, which is always good news, but the Cardinals still have "little enthusiasm" in re-signing him. Their front three was already stacked with Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Jaime Garcia, but they then added Jake Westbrook to the mix at the trade deadline and have since re-signed him. The Yankees, Mets, Orioles, Indians, Nationals, and Rockies are known to be seeking rotation help, though none have been connected to Penny in recent weeks.