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.

Shawn Tolleson retires from baseball

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Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that reliever Shawn Tolleson is retiring from baseball. The right-hander experienced a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery last week.

Tolleson, who turns 31 years old on Saturday, last pitched in the majors in 2016. He had two very good years out of the bullpen for the Rangers in 2014-15, posting an aggregate 2.88 ERA with 145 strikeouts and 45 walks across 144 innings.

Tolleson signed a one-year deal with the Rays in January 2017 before undergoing Tommy John surgery several months later. The Rangers inked him to a minor league contract in December 2017, but he wasn’t able to work his way back.