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Published: Wednesday, 1/12/2011

Tigers add Penny to rotation

Right-hander Brad Penny has agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers, a person familiar with the negotiation told the Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the agreement hasn't been announced. The deal includes $3 million in performance bonuses.

The 32-year-old Penny is coming off an abbreviated season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He went on the disabled list in late May with a strain in his upper back, and although it was believed at the time to be a minor injury, he didn't pitch again. Penny went 3-4 with a 3.23 ERA in nine starts.

The previous season, Penny started 30 games for Boston and San Francisco.

If healthy and effective, Penny could provide a boost to a Detroit rotation that also includes Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. The Tigers have been busy this offseason as they try to improve on last year's 81-81 record. Detroit also has added catcher Victor Martinez and reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Penny began his career with Florida in 2000, when Dave Dombrowski was an executive for the Marlins. Dombrowski is now Detroit's general manager.

Penny helped the Marlins to a World Series title in 2003, then eventually ended up in Los Angeles, where he was an all-star in 2006 and 2007, winning a career-high 16 games each of those two seasons.

Penny went 16-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 2007, finishing third in voting for the National League Cy Young Award.

He has struggled to regain that form. Penny was bothered by shoulder problems in 2008, and he was ineffective in a brief stint in the AL with Boston in 2009, going 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA. The Red Sox ended up releasing him in the middle of the season, but he caught on with the Giants and pitched well for them down the stretch.

Penny won his first three decisions with the Cardinals last year, allowing only three earned runs through his first four starts.

He began having problems again soon after that, and he was pulled before the fourth inning of his last start May 21 before going on the disabled list.

HOFFMAN DONE: All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman is retiring at age 43 and will take a job in the San Diego Padres' front office.

The Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents Hoffman, confirmed that he is done after recording 601 saves in 18 seasons.

Hoffman played the bulk of his career with San Diego after being acquired as a rookie from the Florida Marlins in 1993. He left San Diego as a free agent after the 2008 season and pitched with the Milwaukee Brewers for two seasons.

MLB.com first reported Hoffman's retirement.

HAMILTON/PNEUMONIA: AL MVP Josh Hamilton has been hospitalized with pneumonia.

The Texas Rangers disclosed his condition Tuesday and said Hamilton was diagnosed with an early case Monday. The team expects the hospital to release him by Wednesday.

The Rangers said Hamilton should be able to resume conditioning and baseball activities in a few days.

Hamilton hit .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs last year, continuing his resurgence following cocaine and alcohol addition.

Texas manager Ron Washington has said he wants Hamilton in left field next season to save wear and tear on the all-star slugger.

Hamilton made 107 starts in center field in 2008, with the total dropping to 55 starts in 2009 and 29 last season. Hamilton missed most of the final month for the AL champions after breaking two ribs when he ran into an outfield wall. Hamilton was in center throughout the playoffs and World Series.

GONZALEZ/ROCKIES: Carlos Gonzalez has finalized his $80 million, seven-year contract with the Colorado Rockies.

The deal keeps Gonzalez in purple pinstripes through 2017 and covers what would have been his first three seasons of free agency.

Gonzalez receives a $3 million signing bonus and salaries of $1 million this year, $5 million in 2012, $7.5 million in 2013, $10.5 million in 2014. $16 million in 2015, $17 million in 2016, and $20 million in 2017. If traded, he would receive a $1 million payment.

Gonzalez's agreement comes two months after all-star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki received a new contract that guarantees him $157.75 million over the next decade.

Gonzalez had a breakout season in 2010, winning a Silver Slugger award and a Gold Glove. The 25-year-old won the NL batting title with a .336 average and also hit 34 homers and drove in 117 runs despite batting leadoff in 44 games.



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