Brad Penny fills out the rotation (updated & Raburn news)
ESPN is reporting $3M, up to $6M with incentives. A little high on the salary in my mind, but if he gets to $6M, it will be well worth it. I think this is a great pickup, and fills out the rotation nicely.
Penny sports a respectable career ERA of 4.11, and his best year was in 2007 when he went 16-4. He’s been below average since then, though he has been plagued by injuries. Further analysis coming tonight.
Penny is a fastball/curveball guy who has pretty good heat, but not a great secondary pitch. Thanks to Dave Duncan, he began refining his splitter last season and seemed to be having good success with it until his injury. Dave Cameron covered this beautifully last April on Fangraphs. His critics will argue that his velocity has decreased (it hasn’t) and that he gets beat up by AL pitching. Yes, he had an unusually high BABIP against of .336 with Boston on ’09, where he was released towards the end of the season, but he quickly bounced back with a stellar stretch run for the Giants that year, going 4-1 with a .96 WHIP and 2.59 ERA. I’m not ready to call his high BABIP and resulting high ERA an AL problem. 2010 started good until he got injured again (while batting this time, I think). If he can keep the ball down, he’ll do just fine in Comerica.
In other news, Raburn signed a two-year deal today worth $3.4M, avoiding salary arbitration. This is a nice bump from the $440k he made last year, but he’ll still have two more years of arb eligibility after this deal expires. Looks like a win-win. But remember that Raburn will be 30 in April…if he’s not effective as a full-time player this year, he likely will never be.
Zumaya and Galarraga are still lingering, though DD has yet to go to arbitration with anyone during his tenure. I’d expect them to be signed soon, as the arb hearings usually take place in late January or early February.