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Penny to sign with Detroit

UPDATED UPDATE: According to mlb.com, Penny's contract calls for up to $3 million in performance-based incentives.

UPDATE: Fox Sports reports that Penny's deal is for five million with another $2 million possible through incentives.

It is highly unlikely, even if they were interested, that the Cardinals could have put themselves on the hook for a potential $5 million bump to the payroll.

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ESPN reports that former Cardinals, Giants, Red Sox, Dodgers and Marlins starter Brad Penny is going to give the Detroit disabled list a whirl.

The contract will pay the big righty $3 million in 2011. No word on if there are any incentives involved.

Penny made $7.5 million last season to pitch 55 2/3 innings for St. Louis in 2010. He had a 3.23 ERA but only a 3-4 record thanks to some hard luck. When he tried to take matters offensive matters into his own hands by hitting a home run at Busch Stadium, he pulled a muscle in his back. Penny was to miss a start or two. But he never made it back.

Still, rumors floated around that Penny wanted to come back to St. Louis, his favorite team growing up, to redeem himself after a bad year. The Cardinals feigned interest -- but never really slammed the door. The problem was that Penny wants to be a starter and the Cardinals already have five of those. So he would have had to work out of the bullpen and wait for an (inevitable) injury to crack the rotation.

It's a shame that the Cardinals can't justify sending Kyle Lohse to the bullpen because of his ridiculous contract. Penny probably could pitch better than the snake bitten Lohse if he had a broken leg.

As I said before, I think Penny should seriously consider a career change. He has pitched as many as 200 innings only twice in his 11-year career because of a variety of injuries. Maybe being a set up man or a closer would lessen the stress on his body and help Penny to extend his career.

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