Penny For Your Thoughts, Brad?
Brad Penny, that is. Pending his physical, the Boston Red Sox are going to sign him to a one year deal worth $5 million with built in incentives that could bump the $5 million up to $8 million. He struggled with a shoulder injury (I know the feeling) during the second half of 2008, ending up with a won-loss record of 6-9 and a rather high ERA of 6.27. Boston feels his shoulder problems are behind him and the upcoming physical will end all doubts, one way or the other. In 2007, BEFORE the injuries, he won 16 games for the second straight year. He was 16-4 with a nifty 3.03 ERA. Now that's nice, especially for a guy who will be slotted in the four position of the rotation. Great job, Theo.
In other possible signing news (Penny is more than possible, he's probable) catcher Josh Bard might be coming back. The Sox have plans, pending HIS physical, to sign him to a one year contract worth a thrifty $1.6 million. Last year he batted a woeful .202 with a solo home run and 16 RBIs. He would be our backup catcher, so the search for a number one battery mate for our pitchers goes on...I hope Varitek will overrule his agent, Scott BorasS, and TELL him (who's working for who here?) that he wants to return to his former club. We ALL know how much Jason wants to come back. Sure, he will play less games than past years but his opposing hitter expertise will wash over the other catcher completely. There are a couple first rate starting catchers out there, but they're not free agents. Future Red Sox players would be lost via the trade route, something Boston does not want to do.
The bottom line is this...pending their physicals, Brad Penny will join our now five man rotation, pitching after Daisuke and before Timmy. And that's just great...if his shoulder is sound. Bard? I'm not so sure about him...if he is physically fit to be signed, he will be, but in a back-up role. So the search for a catcher is still very on.
I hope your extended Christmas weekend was a happy and healthy one filled with family and friends. Food too, I'd wager. Mine was quiet and restful, maybe even a little boring. But I have you, my Constant Readers. And my girlfriend, too far away in Minnesota. She'll be here in Connecticut towards the end of January for an extended stay...I couldn't be any happier. I haven't lived with anybody for a long time, so she might take a little getting used to. She'll have to get used to me, too. But I know I love her and I know she loves me even more, sometimes TOO much, if there IS such a thing. Her name is Nadia, by the way. I call her Nadi. My Nadi.
Have a wonderful week as we count down the days remaining in 2008, a wild and wacky year. You can click on this post's title for more on Bard and Penny, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. Aloha. Cheerio. Eh? (That's for Nadi)