Cardinals guarantee Penny $7.5 million in one-year deal

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Brad Penny’s one-year deal with the Cardinals is worth $7.5 million guaranteed and includes $1.5 million in incentives, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney and others.
Some will express surprise at the cash involved, given that Penny finished last season with a 4.88 ERA in 173 1/3 innings. I like the deal for the Cardinals, though. Penny has lost nothing off his fastball, and the game’s premier pitching coach, Dave Duncan, can help with everything else, as long as he doesn’t try to turn Penny into a sinkerballer.
Keeping Penny healthy has always been a challenge, but he’s almost always been an above average pitcher when he’s 100 percent. I see the Cardinals getting 14-15 wins out of him and then a draft pick or two when he leaves as a free agent next winter.

Scooter Gennett wins arbitration case against Reds

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The Reds lost their first arbitration case of the offseason, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was awarded the $5.7 million salary figure he was seeking from the team, a $600,000 bump over the $5.1 million they countered with last month.

Gennett, 27, is coming off of a career-best performance in 2017. After getting claimed off of waivers by the Reds last March, he broke out with an impressive .295/.342/.531 batting line, 27 home runs and 2.4 fWAR in 497 plate appearances. By season’s end, he ranked among the top five most productive second basemen in the National League (and 12th overall). He’s currently set to remain under team control through 2019.

Gennett was only the second Reds player to go to an arbitration hearing this winter. Fellow infielder Eugenio Suarez was defeated in arbitration last week and stands to make just $3.75 million compared to the $4.2 million he filed for in January. All 22 arbitration cases have now been resolved. Twelve were decided in favor of the players.