According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox have been talking about a Brad Penny-for-Jeff Francoeur deal. The Red Sox have been scouting Francoeur for awhile, and the Braves are looking for a new starter after the release of 305-game winner Tom Glavine.
Apparently, the Red Sox had the deal in place, but the Braves then backed out of the deal, seemingly no longer desiring Penny.
But somehow, I think that the Red Sox will eventually get Francoeur this season, and the Red Sox will eventually deal Brad Penny. Maybe not for each other, but eventually, both of those moves will happen.
Penny is expected to be the odd man out on the overcrowded Boston pitching staff when future Hall of Famer John Smoltz returns sometime in mid-summer. The Red Sox are planning ahead and looking to deal the two time All-Star Penny now.
Personally, I'd love to have Francoeur as an outfielder. But the Sox would have to trade one of their starters, and it almost assuredly won't be Jason Bay (and probably won't be Jacoby Ellsbury, either). There really haven't been any rumors about J.D. Drew or Rocco Baldelli leaving, but believe me, the Sox will eventually find a way to get Francoeur if they really want him.