UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that the Tigers are looking like the front-runners to sign Penny.
8:30 PM: Brad Penny just cut out the middleman and gave us the latest update on his job search via his Twitter account.
“Getting close to finding my new home. Should know by the end of the day.”
Penny, 32, posted went 3-4 with a 3.23 ERA and 35/9 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts with the Cardinals last season before suffering a season-ending lat injury in May.
It’s not clear who the front-runner might be here, but we have heard Penny mentioned most often in connection with the Tigers this winter. Of course, his previous stint in the American League didn’t go so well. He went 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA and 89/42 K/BB ratio over 131 2/3 innings with the Red Sox in 2009.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Brewers “floated” an extension offer around $20 million to infielder Jonathan Villar, but the 25-year-old turned it down.
Villar broke out last season, batting .285/.369/.457 with 19 home runs, 63 RBI, 92 runs scored, and a major league best 62 stolen bases. He also spent some time at third base and second base in the second half after shortstop prospect Orlando Arcia was promoted to the big leagues.
Villar will become eligible for salary arbitration after the 2017 season and can become a free agent after the 2020 season.
Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.
As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.
Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.