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Penny in demand

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  June 14, 2009 02:23 PM

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PHILADELPHIA - Major League sources indicated today the Red Sox have fielded multiple calls and some offers for Brad Penny, who is eligible to be traded tomorrow.

Because Penny was signed as a free-agent, he can not be traded until June 15th.

So far the Red Sox, who feel they are dealing in a position of strength, haven't heard anything that would want to make them deal the right-hander even with a logjam in their starting rotation. The source indicated the Sox like their depth situation and would need to be overwhelmed to make a deal. While that scenario could take place as teams get more desperate to find pitching, the Red Sox feel they can hold off even if it creates tough decisions internally.

"I think they learned from the Bronson Arroyo situation that depth is fleeting," said the major league source. "They won't make that mistake again."

With depth, however, come alterations in the rotation that could be somewhat disruptive. While the Red Sox don't want to go with a pure six-man rotation, there will be situations where pitchers may have to be pushed back or starts skipped to accommodate the inclusion of John Smoltz, who will make a start either for Pawtucket or Boston on Thursday. If it's with Pawtucket, his 30-day rehab will end next Friday. Don't expect Josh Beckett or Jon Lester to have their schedule disrupted at all. Both pitchers will likely stay in a normal rotation and pitch every fifth day.

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