The Miami Marlins made an interesting roster move this afternoon, as the team signed former Marlins starter Brad Penny to a minor league deal.
Blast from past! Brad Penny agrees to terms w/Marlins on minor-league contract.— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) June 18, 2014
Penny was on the Kansas City Royals Spring Training roster this season but was cut before the year began. The last time he played in the majors, he was getting shelled for the San Francisco Giants to the tune of a 6.11 ERA and 5.31 FIP in 22 relief appearances in 2012. He had not played in an MLB-professional level since then.
Penny is well known to be a former Marlins pitcher and prominent contributor to the 2003 World Series team. That year, he went 196 1/3 innings and put up a 4.13 ERA and 3.92 FIP, but played better in the playoffs on the way to the title win. He also posted a strong first half in 2004, with a 3.14 ERA and 3.40 FIP for the Marlins, before being traded in the infamous Paul Lo Duca / Juan Encarnacion trade that sent Penny and Hee-Seop Choi out of town.
That trade turned out to be a failure, but Penny went on to have a strong career before petering out in 2011. The question here is why Miami acquired him in the first place given the team's copious starting pitching depth in the minors. Penny will make a prorated portion of a full-year $0.8 million salary if he makes the roster. He also has the option to opt out in one month if he is not on a big league club.
The odds are highly against Penny making the roster at any point now that the team is set with multiple starting pitching options. It does, however, give him a chance to audition in Triple-A New Orleans for a future job. We'll have to see what he has left in the tank.