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Brad Penny cleared waivers today and will join the San Francisco Giants. He will take Joe Martinez’ fifth spot in the starting rotation. Penny was 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA with the Red Sox this season in an up and down season. He was, for the most part, a steady five to six inning pitcher, but always seemed to give up a few runs. He managed to dodge losses in his bad outings, but pick up the wins in his good ones until the second half when a spate of bad outings proved to be his undoing with the Red Sox. He had asked for and was granted his release and had gotten interest from the Yankees and Marlins as well.
Penny, like John Smoltz, hopes landing in the National League pennant race will rejuvante him. Smoltz is 1-0 with the Cardinals and has allowed one earned run in 11 innings over two starts. Will Penny follow the same arc and become a formidable fifth starter as well? His first start with the Giants will come in the upcoming series with the Dodgers, the Giants chief rival and team they are chasing for the division title. Penny also left the Dodgers last season with a bad taste in the mouths of both sides.
With the Red Sox giving Penny his outright release, they will be on the hook for all but the pro-rated minimum, which the Giants will pick up. He had signed a one year, $5 million contract this season which included $3 million more in innings related incentives. However, while the escalators were attainable, but opting for outright free agency, he forfeits the incentives, saving the Red Sox some money there.