Giants sign starter Brad Penny

After he went unclaimed at the 1:00 p.m. deadline on Monday, Brad Penny became a free agent and according to, has signed with the San Francisco Giants.

Initially, no one claimed Penny because a claiming team would have been responsible for the remainder of his contract. The Giants only have to pay him the pro-rated portion of the big-league minimum of $400,000, which will be less than $100,000.

Putting aside Penny’s numbers this season (7-8, 5.61 ERA), this is a quality signing by the Giants. He’s familiar with the NL West after pitching for the Dodgers for four and a half seasons and also offers an upgrade over Joe Martinez, who had been filling in for Randy Johnson after the Big Unit was placed on the DL with a shoulder injury in early July.

Pitching in the spacious AT&T Park should only help Penny’s performance, especially considering he had issues keeping the ball in the yard while playing in Boston this season. He should also be plenty motivated to join a contender, especially a contender whose rival is the team that Penny had a falling out with at the end of last season (the Dodgers).

Considering that Penny comes cheap, is still throwing in the mid 90s and will make an impact immediately, he’s a perfect fit for a Giants team that is coming off a sweep of the Rockies and is now tied for the NL Wild Card.

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Released by the Red Sox, Giants should take flier on Penny

The Boston Herald is reporting that the Red Sox have released starter Brad Penny, who has been awful in his last four starts, compiling a 0-4 record and a 9.11 ERA. Penny will try to join a contender by the end of August in hopes of contributing this postseason.

One contender that would be a fit for Penny is the Giants. They’re a seriously flawed club offensively, so it would make sense that they would focus their attention solely on that weakness. But there aren’t any available bats, so their lineup is what it is. (Fans just threw up after reading that.)

They could, however, use an upgrade over fifth starter Joe Martinez, who is well liked and incredibly easy to root for, but has failed to get past the fifth inning in each of his last four starts. Granted, he’s 2-1 during that span, but he’s gotten an unusual (for the Giants) 8.0 runs per game over those four contests. The more telling sign of how Martinez has pitched is his ERA, which is 5.73.

Penny pitched for the Dodgers for four years (2005-2008) and therefore is familiar with the NL West. Outside of his bloated 6.28 ERA in 2008, he was anywhere from respectable to great while pitching in L.A., compiling a 3.90 ERA in 2005, a 4.33 ERA in 2006, and a 3.03 mark in 2007.

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