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.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.