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Ken Rosenthal: Brad Penny’s deal worth US$4M plus US$3.5M in bonuses

by on Feb.06, 2012 @ 4:20 am, under NPB

Ken Rosenthal tweeted the following details on Brad Penny's contract with the Softbank Hawks (1, 2):

Source: Penny's deal with Japan's Softbank Hawks: 1 yr, $4M plus $3.5M in performance bonuses, plus $4.5 mutual option for 2013. MORE

According to source, Penny deal is largest ever given to an American pitcher in his first contract with a Japanese team.

Seems like an awful lot to pay for someone that has not tossed a single inning in the NPB.  Retaining D.J. Houlton would have made a lot more sense.

UPDATE @ 11:26am - Buster Olney tweeted that the 2013 mutual option becomes a player option if Penny either throws 150 innings or wins twelve games.

If Brad Penny throws 150 innings or wins 12 games for SoftBank Hawks in 2012, his $4.5 million mutual option becomes a player option.

UPDATE 2/8 @ 12:16am - Sports Hochi Osaka notes that close to 970M yen came off the books when the Hawks lost Tsuyoshi Wada, Toshiya Sugiuchi, D.J. Houlton, and Munenori Kawasaki.  The Hawks have not made any direct comments about their contract with Penny, but did tell reporters that they signed a one-year deal and that they would want to re-sign him again next year if he does well.

A separate Sports Hochi articles lists a couple of things you can do with US$7.5M (or about 578M yen):

  • 578,000,000 bills stacked on top of each other would measure about 5.78 meters, or the length of three Yu Darvishs.
  • 1,388 years worth of beef bowls (gyu-don)
  • 29 Mercedes Benz S Class cars, or 428 Toyota Corolla Axios
  • 140 years worth of your average salary-man's salary

13 comments on “Ken Rosenthal: Brad Penny’s deal worth US$4M plus US$3.5M in bonuses

  1. fighting ham

    Maybe largest if bonuses are included. The largest base salary was given to Jason Johnson (350 mil. yen).

  2. Steve

    “Retaining D.J. Houlton would have made a lot more sense.”

    That’s for damn sure. What are they thinking?

  3. muratafan

    I cannot think that this is correct. Penny would be the highest paid player in NPB history (Hideki Matsui was offered close to $10 million, but chose the Yankees instead). This would most likely create some serious clubhouse issues if Penny doesn’t perform and I don’t he’s that great of a pitcher.

    That or Son-sama has some serious extra $$$ hanging around, but then, why couldn’t he have paid Sugiuchi? This report really doesn’t make much sense.

    1. Gen Post author

      Itaru Kobayashi upset Sugiuchi during contract negotiations last year and things apparently did not get any better during the 2011 season. He told reporters that Kobayashi was not the only reason, but did push him towards wanting to leave.

      As for for Houlton, I think he wasn’t really happy about how the Hawks handled player salaries either. I think he made something like 100M in 2010 after posting solid numbers in 2009. He got hurt in 2010 and had his worst NPB season and his salary in 2011 dropped to around 50M.

  4. Kyle

    Is this supposed to be a star power move? I mean Brad Penny is definitely one of the biggest names to make the move, but that’s largely based upon past performance and potential. Unless Sugiuchi was absolutely determined to leave, they should have just kept him. That said, I’m really curious as to how this will work out.

  5. Alex

    Does Softbank even have scouts? Penny went 11-11 with a 5.00 ERA/ 1.53 WHIP in a major pitcher’s park.

    Seconding you guys’ thoughts – why waste so much money on an unproven foreigner when you already had D.J. Houlton, who was comfortable in Fukuoka?

    I could understand if Sugiuchi wanted to head to Tokyo for marketing purposes or whatnot, but I’m pretty sure Houlton didn’t care about the Giants (other than their bigger bank account).

  6. Alex

    One more thought, does the J-press ask these types of questions? If an American team made a similar deal, the press would be all on them about it.

    1. Gen Post author

      AFAIK, teams in Japan have quite a bit of power (at least, that’s what I have heard). This is why you usually don’t see the media asking them really challenging questions.

  7. muratafan

    Something tells me that Rosenthal got the wrong numbers. Giving Matsui-like pay to an unproven – and quite frankly, washed up – foreigner, makes zero sense. THe clubhouse wa would be pretty much destroyed. Penny isn’t even a draw, nobody outside the most die-hard MLB fan has even heard of this guy.

    1. Steve

      If you read Deadspin, they are always criticizing Rosenthal for “Making shit up and seeing what sticks”.

      I would expect the real salary is something like 50% of what is stated. Wily Mo Pena is probably a bigger draw than Penny!

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