Red Sox Quietly Land Two Important Free-Agents

Ty JacksonContributor IJanuary 3, 2009

The Boston Red Sox recently acquired two free-agents for the upcoming 2009 season, pitcher Brad Penny and catcher Josh Bard. This marks the two first significant major-league-ready signings for the Red Sox in the 2009 offseason.

Bard could possible fill the looming hole behind the plate at Fenway. He is .265 career hitter in seasons with Cleveland, San Diego, and a short stint with Boston. Although Bard is a potential starting catcher, the Red Sox do not dismiss the possibility of a trade with Texas or Arizona for a younger fit. Bard is 31 years old in March.

Penny, aged 30, signed a one-year, $5 million contract and could be a solid number four starter. Penny, formerly of the Dodgers and Marlins, had a rough 2008, spending most of it on the disabled list.

However, Penny had back-to-back 16 win seasons for the Dodgers in 2006 and 2007, as well as postseason success against the Red Sox rival New York Yankees. This could mark him as clutch pitcher and may be a good sign that he will be comfortable in his first American League rotation.