Brad Penny: Steal of the Offseason

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Brad Penny: Steal of the Offseason
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

This article is also posted on Sox & Dawgs. Many thanks to Ian Bethune for letting me contribute to his blog.
Way back in December of 2008, Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein was in the mood for pitcher shopping, but he wasn't interested in pouring out boatloads of cash to acquire any big ticket guys like CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. 
Instead, Epstein looked to Brad Penny, a free agent from the Los Angeles Dodgers who suffered a plague of injuries in his shoulder and was limited to 19 starts. He compiled a 6-9 record and a 6.27 ERA after coming off back-to-back 16-win seasons.
The deal? Penny got a one-year contract worth $5 million along with an added bonus if he performed well. 
Who knew the former teammate of Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell would prove to be a steal?
Penny, who goes to the mound tonight for the Sox, has compiled a 6-2 record and 4.94 ERA, a statistic that has declined in every start but one since April 28. He is coming off his best start on June 17 against the New York Yankees, pitching five innings while giving up 3 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, and no runs to earn the win.
And now with Daisuke Matsuzaka having more pitching and shoulder issues (thanks again WBC) this only gives Penny more of a chance to shine and prove he belongs in the Boston rotation with Beckett, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, and soon to be John Smoltz.
Theo Epstein has almost proved his genius abilities once again. 
Meanwhile in the Bronx, Sabathia has put up fair numbers (6-4, 3.71 ERA, 102 IP, 85 hits, 45 runs, 8 HR, 31 BB, 70 K), but Burnett (5-4, 4.24 ERA, 87 IP, 81 hits, 44 runs, 13 HR,  44 BB, 82 K) not so much.
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