Brad Penny to Brewers?

Jimmy HaggertyContributor IMay 26, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 3: Pitcher Brad Penny #36 of the Boston Red Sox starts against the Tampa Bay Rays May 3, 2009 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

There are rumors going on in the sports world that the Red Sox are looking to trade veteran right-hander Brad Penny.  It is said that they are looking for a good prospect to go with the deal. 

According to ESPN's SportsCenter, the Brewers would be a good fit for Penny.  It is an interesting possibility.  Even though the pitching staff for the Brew Crew has been exceptional so far this season, it is unlikely that our starters will keep this pace.  Bringing in a veteran like Penny would fix this inconsistency.

Brad Penny has a career record of 99-76 and has a career ERA of 4.12.  However, in the past season plus, he has slipped from his previous stellar numbers.  In 2008, he went 6-9 with a 6.27 ERA, and so far in 2009 he is 5-1.  But, he has a 5.96 ERA.  It will be risky for the Brewers to trade away another top prospect for a 30-plus pitcher who seems to be out of his prime. 

He would be a deal though in contract price, he has a $7.55 million contract, in which some would be paid by the Red Sox.  If the Crew was to trade for him, they would most likely have to trade away Alcides Escobar and possibly a pitching prospect.

The Brewers are likely to shop either Escobar or Hardy in the near future, as they can't keep the two shortstops.  The deal, I guess, depends if Doug Melvin thinks that pitching coach Ramon Castro can turn around Brad Penny's season and give him a few more years of above average pitching before he eventually retires. 

The deal could result in either the release, or possibly a trade of Jeff Suppan,  who, as all Brewers fans know, has underachieved with the Brewers.  The trade would also free up a little cap room if the Brewers were to rid of Suppan. 

There are pro's and con's to this trade possibility.  There are no guarantees, you could be trading a talented prospect for a worn-out starter.  Or you could be getting the necessary extra help needed for the Brewers to make a deep run in October. 

One thing is for certain, Doug Melvin will have to make a decision fast, because this opportunity won't be around forever.