INDIANAPOLIS — Brad Penny's late-season pitch seems to have paid off.
Fresh from an impressive showing in the final month, Penny was close to a $7.5 million, one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Monday.
The deal is contingent on the 31-year-old righty passing a physical, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final.
Penny recently turned down a one-year offer to stay with San Francisco. The two-time All-Star quickly drew interest from the NL Central champion Cardinals, facing the loss of free-agent pitchers Joel Pineiro, John Smoltz and Todd Wellemeyer.
Penny went a combined 11-9 with a 4.88 ERA in 30 starts for Boston and the Giants. He won a career-high 16 games in 2006 and 2007 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was an All-Star both seasons. He was slowed by shoulder trouble in 2008.
The Red Sox signed Penny to a $5 million, one-year contract during the last offseason. He never found his rhythm with Boston and went 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA.
Penny went 1-6 in his last 11 starts for the Red Sox, and they cut him in late August. He joined the Giants, who were still in the wild-card race, on Aug. 31 and found his old form back in the National League.
Penny was 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in six starts for San Francisco. He is 105-84 lifetime and won twice for Florida in its 2003 World Series victory over the Yankees.
The Cardinals won their division behind big years from aces Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright and a fine season from Pineiro. Smoltz made seven starts after being released by Boston and Wellemeyer made 21 starts during an injury-interrupted season.