The Red Sox are nearing agreement with two free-agents: pitcher Brad Penny and catcher Josh Bard.
Fox's Ken Rosenthal says the 29-year-old Penny "would be in the Red Sox's starting rotation", but that is a huge stretch at this point. Penny had a 6.27 ERA in 17 starts and two relief appearances last year before going down with a sore right shoulder. This is a solid, low-risk signing -- I would have liked Smoltz, though is unlikely now -- but Penny's the 6th or 7th starter right now.
Over at SoSH, there are notes that back in August, the Dodgers "questioned the severity" of Penny's shoulder problems, blaming his dismal performance on "a poor work ethic". An MRI later revealed increased scar tissue in Penny's shoulder, which appeared to be impinging on the rotator-cuff tendon.