Starting pitcher Brad Penny, who sat out the entire 2013 season due to a troublesome pitching shoulder, is officially attempting a return to the Major Leagues in 2014.
He signed a deal with the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night, as first reported by Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish:
Source: #Royals agree to deal with RHP Brad Penny.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 15, 2014
Penny last pitched in the big leagues in 2012. A starter for his whole career, he appeared exclusively out of the bullpen that season for the San Francisco Giants. In 22 games he posted an underwhelming 6.11 ERA and a meager 3.2 K/9. For the Royals there isn’t much risk here, but it’s debatable whether there’s much reward to be had either.
Penny, who will be 36 this season, has previously pitched for the Marlins and Dodgers among other teams. His last full season came in 2011, when he went 11-11 for the Detroit Tigers in 31 starts. He managed to pitch 181.2 innings that season, but it wasn’t pretty as he posted a 5.30 ERA.
If the Royals see this as a depth signing, then they are likely hoping that Penny can slot himself into the back of their rotation and eat up some innings, especially early in the season. The odds are pretty good, frankly, that these two parties will have parted ways by the middle of the summer.