Brad Penny Signs With SoftBank Hawks

4:48pm: ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Penny's deal contains a $4.5MM mutual option that becomes a player option if he pitches 150 innings or wins 12 games.

1:32pm: Penny's contract is worth $4MM plus $3.5MM in performance bonuses, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  A source tells Rosenthal (via Twitter) that Penny's deal is the largest ever given to an American pitcher in his first year with a Japanese team.

10:34am: Brad Penny has signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to the team's website (Japanese link).  Penny's deal is for one year and $3MM, plus performance bonuses, according to a report from the Yomiuri Shimbun passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.'s Jerry Crasnick recently reported that Penny was weighing an opportunity with the Hawks.  The 33-year-old posted a 5.30 ERA with 3.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 31 starts for the Tigers last season.

The Chunichi Dragons have also picked up a former Major Leaguer in reliever Jorge Sosa, according to Sanspo (Japanese link).  Newman writes that Sosa received a $100K signing bonus in addition to his $300K salary.

44 Responses to Brad Penny Signs With SoftBank Hawks Leave a Reply

  1. JacksTigers 3 years ago

    After seeing how slow the pitchers they send over here are, Penny will fit right in.

    EDIT: I’m talking about his wind up.

    • Stark2k 3 years ago


      Given that its the only thing relevant I assume you meant fastball velocity?  Thats the one thing Penny is still above average at…

      • JacksTigers 3 years ago

        I’m reffering to his wind up.

        • The Tigers getting 11 wins out of Penny and his league highest ERA and league highest WHIP (among qualified starters), was a pretty good act.  In fact, getting 14 W’s out of Porcello and his five plus ERA was decent. It won’t be hard to replace Penny, other than those 11 wins in the five slot.

          • oriolessuperfan 3 years ago

            penny didnt have the league highest era  whip that was brian matusz

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            “The Tigers getting 11 wins out of Penny and his league highest ERA and league highest WHIP (among qualified starters),”

            No offense, but Lackey had an ERA of a run and a half higher and a higher WHIP also last year.. Somehow even managed to win 12 games..

            Hopefully lackey will do better in 2013 since he seemed to have had problems with his arm needing surgery the entire 2011 season.

          • Lackey didn’t “qualify” for the ERA title, since he only pitched 160 innings.  The minimum is 162. 

            Matusz only threw 49.2 innings. 

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Lackey lucked out then being 2IP short huh….

            Good thing for him… He misses his chance for 1 horrific thing from last season.


    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      I dunno.. Wonder how many NPB hitters are used to seeing a 96-98mph FB, even if it is straight as an arrow? this might not be a bad move on his part and similar to AL has beens moving to the NL.

      He can maybe just stick to throwing 96-98 for 5-6 IP, then throwing a couple of those lousy curves every inning and imagine do better than many think over there.


      Like the poster below mentioned.. you meant his FB then?? Not his adjusting to the league?

  2. CtTigersfan 3 years ago

     good bye Bad Penny.

  3. Nailed this one on the free agent contest.

  4. GlassJawn 3 years ago

    At first I thought it said softball.  Insert Brad Penny Joke.  

    Seriously though, I don’t know why he doesn’t realize he is no longer an effective starter and shift to the bullpen.  His history of injuries and pitching style would excel in a situation like that.  He can be an excellent back of the end arm in the pen.  The Rays were interested in using him that way before he signed with the Tigers.

    • hartvig 3 years ago

      That’s what I saw at first glance as well.

      As to your second point- while I’m personally doubtful that he’d do a lot better in the bullpen, even if you’re right no one is going to pay him near what he’ll be making in Japan. Add to that the fact that a lot of people would find playing baseball and living in a foreign country an adventure I can understand why he choose to go that route.

      I do have to admit that watching him pitch for my Tigers last season was a painful experience. Even when he was “effective” (the definition of which for him would be different than it would be for most pitchers) watching him dawdle and mess around between pitches seemed to suck all the energy and joy out of watching the game.

  5. Soft tosser for SoftBank

  6. ratmoss 3 years ago

    What, did he get tired of chasing American tail?  I think he will do well over there…just not necessarily on the field. 

  7. elmedius 3 years ago

    they just signed him to throw fast balls for wily mo pena during batting practice.

  8. Mr_Anderson1017 3 years ago

    I thought it said “softball”, thought he was following the path of Eric Byrnes.

  9. safari_punch 3 years ago

    Good for him. Three million to play pro ball on a one year is not a bad chunk of change.

    Good luck.

  10. Josh Conn 3 years ago

    Does anyone know the Japanese phrase for “So much for that MLB career?”  It’s not so much that he’s in Japan, but that he is on the same pitching staff as Jorge Sosa; that’s a career death warrant if I have ever heard one 😉

  11. Vote4DougWilson 3 years ago

    I am not going to miss him on the Tigers. He did get a surprising 11 wins, but that was mainly due to being bailed out by the offense. If Coke had gotten his run support he’d still be starting. Plus, he took longer in his windup and between pitches than anyone else I ever saw. His games were glacially slow and awful to watch.

    • Yeah, I hear you there. He would pick up the rosen bag and drop it like 30 times in between pitches. Pure Veteran move. I wonder if Japan will have an appreciation for that. They probable will like his “Hot” Wife better. I wonder if she will take to Japan. 

      • duckwalloper 3 years ago

        I think you mean his “hot” ex-fiance.  They never got married.  I think Karina finally came to her senses.

  12. Braves1976 3 years ago

    They gave Penny 4 million and he could end up making 7.5 million with bonuses. He’d probably not got anywhere near that signing with a MLB team. So I can see why he took it and is going to Japan for a season.

  13. Did Scott Boras get Brad Penny this “pillow contract”?

  14. Remember when Brad Penny was a power pitcher and started the All-Star game?

  15. He is a National League fraud, never should have signed with the Tigers last year.

  16. Motor_City_Bombshell 3 years ago

    How ironic is it that he signs with Detroit for $3MM last year, pitches awful, and then nets one more million guaranteed with Japan. With incentives. Wow, I wish I got paid more for performing awful at my job..

  17. JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

    I hope it ja-pans out for him. :)

  18. This deal is amazing for Penny. Possibly $7.5 mil and a $4.5 million dollar option. You’ve got to think they could of spent that money a little better.

  19. tdot32 3 years ago

    good money for him at this point in his career.

  20. Wilsonl 3 years ago

    “weighing an opportunity”

  21. JacksTigers 3 years ago

    What do you mean?

  22. LeylandsLung 3 years ago

    What? Where?

  23. baseballdude 3 years ago

    because his value is only worth a penny.

  24. elmedius 3 years ago

    good point.  npb is worried about how mlb views them as a development league… they might need to be more worried about becoming a retirement league.
    they should implement something like the chinese basketball league did and limit how many “american” players a team can carry.

  25. cano24 3 years ago

    NPB already limits the number of foreign players that can be on a team.

  26. How about Roy Halladay? They would make him ruler of the country.

  27. redsx968 3 years ago

    So because he’s in Japan it’s a waste? Believe it or not, some veterans in the twilight of their careers don’t see Baltimore as the place to be. It’s tough to wrap your head around, I know, but it’s true.

    Sorry- that was in response to Willingham- not sure why it shows up like this.

  28. He’s pitched 313 innings in the AL, with ~5.50 ERA and ~1.50 WHIP to show for it. He literally has been a below-replacement-level player (per WAR) during his unfortunate attempts to pitch in the junior circuit. Isn’t there a Japanese guy you’d rather plug in?

  29. He pitched 42 innings with a WHIP of 0.96 in 2009, offcourse in the NL.

  30. Kyle_W 3 years ago

    Yep. Only four foreign players can be on the 28 man major league roster. Only three can be on the field at any given moment.

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