Colletti says Penny could return as reliever

Although Joe Torre probably was right in his assessment that there isn’t enough time left in the season for Brad Penny to do what he would have to do to get himself ready to return to the Dodgers’ starting rotation, general manager Ned Colletti said this morning that he hasn’t given up on getting Penny back this season and that his return could come out of the bullpen, something that wouldn’t require nearly as much rehab time.
“We could get him back in the bullpen, too,” Colletti said. “Who knows? Even if it does take that long to rehab, if we can get him healthy … I don’t know if we have enough (information) right now to be saying anything (definitive).”
Colletti declined to address the issue of whether Penny’s health concerns will impact the club’s decision to exercise or decline the $9.25 million option for 2009 on Penny’s contract. The option carries a $2 million buyout. Penny has made just 17 starts this season, 15 of which came before he went on the DL the first time back in June.
Presumably, even if the Dodgers decline Penny’s option, they still would be willing to re-sign him as a free agent.