From his winners and losers column about the general managers meetings...
SI.com's Jon Heyman named new Cardinals starter Brad Penny one of the biggest winners of the meeting because he landed a $7.5-million guaranteed deal with another $1.5 million available through incentives following a season during which he was released in the middle of the year.
Heyman thinks the injury-prone Penny is paying the price for not taking care of his body and that he didn't deserve what could amount to one last big payday from the Redbirds.
Here's what Heyman had to say:
Brad Penny: He gets 750 million pennies ($7.5 million) and a chance to make another 150 million pennies ($1.5 million) in incentives. It's all like pennies from heaven for a fellow who is coming off a season in which he remained out of shape and got designated for assignment by Boston midway through. The man never ceases to amaze. (It's hard to believe he ever dated Alyssa Milano, too.) Legacy of Sport agents (Greg Genske, Brian Peters and Scott Parker) actually get the credit here for taking advantage of the fact the Cardinals were fixated on doing a one-year deal with someone. Things usually end up working out for St. Louis, but the Cards have given themselves a challenge here.
The Cardinals may have painted themselves into a corner by shopping for a pitcher they could get on a one-year deal because the people who will accept those are going to be players who are trying to either rebuild their reputation or hang on for one more season.
But they overpaid Kyle Lohse last season which means they already had three starters -- including Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright -- who are working under long term contract. Penny is going to be a risk because he, Carp, Wainwright and Lohse all have missed significan't time to injuries in the last two years. It's hard to believe one of them, at the very least, won't have health problems.
That being said, Penny is 11 years younger than late season plug in John Smoltz at 31, and he seems to have a lot more upside. While Smoltz started off pretty well for the Cardinals, he seemed to look more like a 42-year-old pitcher with every appearance.
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