CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Future Shock: Giants T... (02/03)
<< Previous Column
The BP First Take: Fri... (02/03)
Next Column >>
The BP First Take: Tue... (02/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Resident Fantasy Geniu... (02/06)

February 6, 2012

The BP First Take

Monday, February 6

by Daniel Rathman

Brad Penny is taking his talents to Japan to play for the Softbank Hawks. But that is not the real story here—the real story is that the Hawks will pay Penny $4 million in 2012, and offer him the potential to earn $3.5 million more in incentives. The deal also carries a $4.5 million mutual option for 2013.

By major-league standards, Penny has become a shadow of his former self. In 31 starts last season, he struck out a paltry 74 batters in 181 2/3 innings and walked 62. His 9.2 K-percentage was dead last among qualifying starters. Penny turns 34 in May and is now purely a contact pitcher with the ability to eat innings, but without the ability to do so productively. He has not been worth more than 1.0 WARP since 2007.

One of several veterans still on the free-agent market, Penny likely would have had to settle for a minor-league contract and a shot to stick as a number-five starter or swingman; if the Hawks had not come calling, that is. Penny was paid $3 million by the Tigers last season, and while a small rebound may be in the offing, he cannot suddenly turn back the clock five years.

It is hard to evaluate Penny’s worth in the Nippon Professional Baseball League, but with the level of play said to be roughly equal to Triple-A, a fair improvement in his performance can be expected. Still, it is interesting that the Hawks were willing to pay Penny more—perhaps many times more—than any stateside team.

By heading to Fukuoka, Penny will earn roughly as much in 2012 as Japanese import Tsuyoshi Wada, who signed a two-year, $8.15 million deal with the Orioles back in December. If there is a considerably greater market for replacement-level innings eaters in Japan, it will be interesting to see if those who are not fortunate enough to score two-year deals from Ned Colletti follow in Penny’s footsteps over the coming years. 

Daniel Rathman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Daniel's other articles. You can contact Daniel by clicking here

Related Content:  Brad Penny

2 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Future Shock: Giants T... (02/03)
<< Previous Column
The BP First Take: Fri... (02/03)
Next Column >>
The BP First Take: Tue... (02/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Resident Fantasy Geniu... (02/06)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article What You Need to Know: August 29, 2014
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: This Article Mentions Fehlan...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, August 29
Premium Article The Call-Up: Dilson Herrera
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Augu...
Prospectus Feature: Roast A Parks
Premium Article Raising Aces: Mis-Priced

MORE FROM FEBRUARY 6, 2012
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run: Beware of Falling Pa...
Premium Article The BP Broadside: The Vanishing American Lea...
Western Front: Scrappy Rain, Scrappy Rain
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Jackson Settles for On...
Premium Article Resident Fantasy Genius: The Age-27 Breakout...

MORE BY DANIEL RATHMAN
2012-02-10 - The BP First Take: Friday, February 10
2012-02-08 - The BP First Take: Wednesday, February 8
2012-02-07 - The BP First Take: Tuesday, February 7
2012-02-06 - The BP First Take: Monday, February 6
2012-02-03 - The BP First Take: Friday, February 3
2012-02-02 - The BP First Take: Thursday, February 2
2012-02-01 - The BP First Take: Wednesday, February 1
More...

MORE BP FIRST TAKE
2012-02-10 - The BP First Take: Friday, February 10
2012-02-08 - The BP First Take: Wednesday, February 8
2012-02-07 - The BP First Take: Tuesday, February 7
2012-02-06 - The BP First Take: Monday, February 6
2012-02-03 - The BP First Take: Friday, February 3
2012-02-02 - The BP First Take: Thursday, February 2
2012-02-01 - The BP First Take: Wednesday, February 1
More...