CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have signed veteran right-hander Brad Penny to a minor-league contract and intend to deploy him as a reliever.
Most recently, Penny pitched for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League, but he was cut loose after getting knocked around in his first and only start. Penny last pitched in the U.S. majors in 2011, when he logged a 5.30 ERA in 181.2 innings for the Tigers.
Penny hasn't pitched out of the bullpen since 2008 and has made just four relief appearances in his entire major-league career. That said, Penny might see a velocity boost working as a reliever, and his fastball-splitter-curve trio could prove to be effective in a carefully limited role. If nothing else, it's a low-risk flier on the part of the Giants.
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