Big names have tough choices to make

Updated: December 27, 2008, 5:39 PM ET
Vernon Wells sees some reason for optimism for the Jays in 2009, writes Richard Griffin.

• Future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson got a lot more than pocket change, working out an $8 million deal with the Giants, John Shea writes. So now San Francisco's rotation looks like this: Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Barry Zito, Johnson and Jonathan Sanchez. Not bad, especially for a team in the NL West, but there are, of course, a lot of unknowns, such as how much Zito will contribute, and how many starts Johnson will make at age 45.

Brad Penny may soon make his decision about where he wants to pitch in 2009, on a one-year offer -- and money aside, the best possible fit for him would probably be with the Red Sox, where he could compete in the supercharged AL East and have a chance to rebuild his stature within the game. But Penny -- the NL starter in the 2006 All-Star Game, and the No. 3 finisher in the Cy Young Award voting in 2007 -- is weighing many alternatives, including an overture from the Cardinals.