Penny wanted out of the American League

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Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Twins decided against claiming Brad Penny off waivers after they learned that he wanted to go back to the National League.
Instead of the Twins assuming Penny’s remaining contract and taking the Red Sox off the hook for about $1.2 million, he was released after clearing waivers and signed what basically amounts to a one-month, $75,000 deal with the Giants.
Minnesota reached out to Penny through Mike Redmond and Carl Pavano, who previously played with him in Florida, and received indications from both the 31-year-old right-hander and his agent that he’d rather avoid another American League team.
Penny spent the first nine years of his career in the NL, going 94-75 with a 4.06 ERA before posting a 5.61 ERA in 24 starts with the Red Sox. On one hand players dictating waiver claims and roster decisions isn’t such a great thing. On the other hand it’s tough to blame Penny for wanting to flee back to the NL after seeing John Smoltz do the same with (so far) lots of success.

Late Athletics broadcaster Bill King wins the Ford C. Frick Award

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CSN Bay Area
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OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.

King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.

Rockies sign Ian Desmond for five years, $70 million

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 07:  Ian Desmond #20 of the Texas Rangers reacts after hitting a double against the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh inning of game two of the American League Divison Series at Globe Life Park in Arlington on October 7, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.

Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, or else will play first base, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short. Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances, though he was much, much better in the first half than the second half.

The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.