Tag: Carl Pavano

MLB Rumors: New York Yankees Considered Bringing Carl Pavano Back

Via Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters Wednesday that he had “several discussions” with the agent for free agent right-hander Carl Pavano, who endured four trying seasons in New York from 2005 to ’08.

Pavano, in turn, seriously considered returning to the Yankees, according to major league sources, even telling friends at one point that he intended to rejoin the team.

The Yankees explored a one-year deal with Pavano at a high salary, sources said. The talks fizzled when the Twins guaranteed Pavano a second year—an important consideration for a pitcher who is 35.

According to one source, the Pavano camp made frequent contact with the Yankees, expressing a desire for the pitcher to return. The Yankees, though, were mindful of Pavano’s history with the team and were unwilling to forfeit a first-round draft pick by signing him—a sacrifice they later made for free agent reliever Rafael Soriano.

Wow, I really didn’t expect Cashman to get this desperate, but the truth is that after Cliff Lee, Pavano was the best free agent pitcher this offseason. A lot of Yankees fans don’t like Pavano, are not going to like that I even called him the next best pitcher after Lee and the booing would have been worse than it was with Javier Vazquez last season.

Cashman’s job is to put the best product on the field he can to win games, and that sometimes means ignoring what the fans want, as they can easily be blinded by emotion. But again, it is surprising to hear that he even explored this possibility because of the vitriol Pavano inspires in the Bronx.

It’s especially strange with Cashman’s contract up at the end of the year. If he had signed Pavano, he would have created a situation where he would have alienated a lot of fans who would be calling for his head next offseason.

What do you think? With the Yankees very thin rotation, would signing Pavano have been the right move? Or was Cashman crazy for even considering it?

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MLB Rumors: Vladimir Guerrero, 10 Free Agents Pricing Themselves Out of Market

We are officially well into the winter doldrums. The luster of the World Series has long since faded, and the free agent market’s most prized possessions have all signed with new teams. But while the media will marvel in the news surrounding the likes of Washington’s big spending, reeling in Jayson Werth, or the Phillies under-market signing of Cliff Lee. However, many free agents are still looking for new homes.

Who’s to blame?

Today’s free agent market is summarized by the old euphemism, “Dream big, or go home.” Players who had great seasons wait the market out until the last possible moment, sometimes landing that big deal from a desperate team, a la Rafael Soriano signing with the New York Yankees, but more often than not, those players are forced to take deals they aren’t so happy with.

Is it a result of greed? Is there simply no market for a player, or are they valuing themselves much more greatly than what the rest of the league considers a fair price? The following free agents remain without homes, but we wonder why. Though there has been considerable interest in their services, they’ve yet to latch on with a new team. Have the following players actually priced themselves out of the market?

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MLB Free Agency: Minnesota Twins Finally Nearing Deal with Carl Pavano

It appears that all the speculation that swirled around free agent Carl Pavano leaving the Minnesota Twins for another team will be coming to an end very soon.

FOXSports.com senior baseball writer Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Twins are nearing a deal that will keep Pavano in a Twins uniform through the 2012 season.

Fans will be happy to hear this news, as Pavano became a favorite in Minnesota during his first year and a half with the team—because of both his consistently effective outings and that moustache that has given Twins fans the urge to apply phony facial hair before making their way to Target Field.

In December, I actually found myself writing that Pavano wasn’t the right fit for the Twins. I’m glad I can say at this point that I was wrong.

Archive: MLB Free Agency: Why Carl Pavano Doesn’t Fit With The 2011 Minnesota Twins

In reality, it wasn’t that I didn’t think that Pavano would be a beneficial part of the Twins rotation. After all, since joining the Twins in late 2009 Pavano has a combined 22-15 record with a 3.97 ERA.

Pavano was given type-A status as a free agent after the season, and was the most talented starter on the free-agent market after Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies.

My only concern with Pavano was his age. Pavano turns 35 on Saturday, and a three or four-year deal would be out of the question for the right-hander as his performance would likely decline as he nears 40.

The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed for the two-year deal, but expect it to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million per year.

Pavano will anchor a rotation that now will likely appear something like this:

No. 1 Starter: Carl Pavano

No. 2 Starter: Francisco Liriano

No. 3 Starter: Scott Baker

No. 4 Starter: Brian Duensing

No. 5 Starter: Kevin Slowey/Nick Blackburn


It’ll be interesting to see how both the front end and back end of the rotation play out as spring training gets under way in a little over a month. Many have been hoping that Liriano would emerge as a clear-cut ace and lead the staff, but his performance has shown that he may not be ready for such an undertaking.

In the back end of the rotation both Slowey and Blackburn have had significant highs and lows over the last couple of seasons.

Combine that with the fast tracking of prospect Kyle Gibson (who some are pegging as a possible contender for AL Rookie of the Year once given a shot with the club), and manager Ron Gardenhire will have some tough decisions to make before the Twins open the 2011 season.

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MLB Rumors: How Will the Free Agent Dominoes Fall With Adrian Beltre Inked?

While Adrian Beltre is the last big name free agent off the market, that doesn’t mean all the talent is gone. There are still a good number of players on the market that could help a team this season. As it stands now, teams are scrambling to try and address their needs before the available talent pool has dried up.

Some teams will get healthier than others, other teams will suddenly have more to spend, and it could lead to some players in some interesting places. Here is a look at some of the latest rumors involving potential baseball free agent signings. 

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Washington Nationals: Offseason Considered a Dissapointment Thus Far

The Washington Nationals do not only face challenges from other teams in the MLB, but apparently they are facing challenges from other players as well. 

Washington showed great interest in many free agents this offseason.  Names such as Cliff Lee, Jorge De La Rosa, Zack Grienke and Derek Lee were all on the list of targets for the Nationals.  Each player however turned down general manager Mike Rizzo when talks arose. 

Rizzo explains the challenges in the same respect as the old which comes first analogy.

“It shows the difficulty of trying to build something,” Rizzo said. “The only thing that convinces players to come is winning. It’s the chicken and the egg. Which comes first? Do you win and then the players come, or do the players come and then you win?”

So which really does come first? 

This week, Derek Lee agreed to sign with the Baltimore Orioles and turned down the Nationals. The Nationals had a slightly better record than Baltimore last year, which leaves Rizzo puzzled.  The Nationals showed a clear interest in landing the powerful first baseman, but were again unsuccessful. 

While the Nat’s have landed free agents Jayson Werth, Adam Laroche, and Rick Ankiel, they are hardly what was expected in Washington. 

The Nationals are clearly building up a team of the future with prospects such as Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper signing long term contracts to begin their career in Washington.  However Rizzo had a goal this offseason to land big names which could help the team make a push for the playoffs this season. 

Washington has one big target left on the radar.  Reports show that the team is still very interested in Carl Pavano to add more depth to their pitching rotation.  However, another report yesterday conflicted this belief, and Washington looks to be missing out on another top free agent. 

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2011 MLB Preview: Comparing What The Twins Rotation Will Be to What It Should Be

Despite opening a brand new outdoor stadium, re-signing their franchise catcher for the better part of the next decade, and winning their division in relatively easy fashion, the Minnesota Twins 2010 season would end the same as in previous years.

Yet another first round elimination at the hands of the New York Yankees would leave Twins fans wondering what it would take to succeed in October.

As the Twins look towards the 2011 season, they have to have concerns about the status of their pitching staff, both starters and relievers. Needless to say, Twins pitchers were at times unpredictable in 2010.

From the perspective of the starting rotation, free agent Carl Pavano is getting the vast majority of the attention when it comes to the state of the staff.

The Minnesota Twins would be wise to retain the services of Carl Pavano in 2011, however, due to his successes in 2010, it is becoming apparent that he might be too expensive for the Twins comfort.

As a result, the Twins will need to maximize the productivity of the pitchers they’ll have in 2011 if the team hopes to build on the success of 2010.

I’d still love to see Carl Pavano wearing a Twins uniform in 2011, but the possibility of that not happening makes it all that more important to pay close attention to some other key pieces of the staff.


No. 1 Starter Will Be: Francisco Liriano

In his first season back from reconstructive elbow surgery, Francisco Liriano definitely showed the pains of adjusting to form.

He finished the 2009 season with a 5-13 record and an ERA just under six, leading many to question whether or not he would be able to regain his pre-surgery confidence as the Twins entered the 2010 season. 

Liriano would prove his critics wrong, however, finishing the 2010 season with a 14-10 record and a 3.62 ERA. With the current uncertainty of Carl Pavano’s return to the rotation,  it’s a safe bet that the Twins will count on Liriano to be their opening day starter in 2011.

Should Be: Carl Pavano

Since Pavano joined the Twins in late 2009, he has a combined 22-15 record with a 3.97 ERA. That stability would go a long way in helping the franchise get back to the playoffs.

As I’ve already said, I hope I can see Pavano at Target Field in 2011. I just don’t want to see the Twins get cornered into offering a long term contract to him and ending up paying $10-13 million in a third or fourth year.

Pavano would be 38 years old, in a third year of a new deal, and it’s a safe bet that the productivity will have declined by that point.

That said, Pavano would be a great veteran option as a No. 1 starter, and in doing so, would take at least some pressure off of Liriano, who seems to get worked up easily in high pressure situations.

It does appear that Pavano would like to stay within the organization, but the amount of years the Twins are willing to offer seems to be a sticking point.

The Washington Nationals are said to have offered Pavano 3 years for $33 million, which might prove too much for him to walk away from.


No. 2 Starter Will Be: Scott Baker

For the past few seasons, Scott Baker has been holding down the opening day starter role for the Twins. While his numbers might not reflect that of a true staff “ace,” his productivity has helped get the Twins to where they are today.

Over the past two seasons, Baker has a 27-18 record with an ERA just under 4.50. Baker’s numbers overall have been solid, but critics have been quick to point out that he doesn’t have dominating stuff and relies too much on batters making contact to get them out.

Still, Baker is a moderately consistent pitcher who can provide a solid amount of innings for the Twins if he’s able to avoid giving up that one big inning as he’s done many times in the past.

Should Be: Francisco Liriano

As noted in the discussion of the number one starter spot, Liriano will likely end up being the ace of the staff if Carl Pavano ends up elsewhere as a result of free agency.

However if the Twins do end up retaining Pavano, Liriano would fit much better in the number two spot as he sometimes doesn’t appear to be completely comfortable being THE guy in the Twins rotation.


No. 3 Starter Will Be: Brian Duensing

When the 2010 season started, Brian Duensing was eating up innings as a member of the Twins’ bullpen. By season’s end, Duensing was one of the most consistent pitchers and had by all accounts solidified his permanent place in the starting rotation.

Duensing went 7-3 with an ERA of 3.44 as a starter in 2010, providing stability when starters Kevin Slowey and Nick Blackburn experienced their own struggles. He ended his season with a painful division series loss to the Yankees, but will still be relied upon for mid-rotation stability next season.

Should Be: Brian Duensing

Duensing belongs in and deserves this spot in the middle of the rotation. His overall consistency in a partial season as a starter could lead to great things when he has a full season starting at the major league level.


No. 4 Starter Will Be: Nick Blackburn

Definition: Enigma (noun):a person of puzzling or contradictory character

“Enigma” is perhaps the best way to describe Nick Blackburn last season. Blackburn got off to an impressive start to the 2010 season, silencing many critics who had thought his newly signed four year $14 million contract wasn’t deserved.

He would stumble however, leaving the team for a period of time for personal reasons, and ultimately being removed from the starting rotation and spending time in both the minor leagues and the Twins bullpen in the fall.

If Blackburn can gain confidence in his pitches, he can be the type of pitcher that the Twins thought he’d be when they gave him a contract extension, he will fit just fine in the rotation. If not, Twins GM will need to take a close look at other options available.

Should Be: Scott Baker

In the event that Pavano, Liriano and Duensing will hold up the front end of the rotation this season, Baker would be a solid No. 4 option to hold up the back end. He’s made his fair share of starts as the team’s top pitcher, but at this point he may be better suited to add depth to the second half of the rotation.


No. 5 Starter Will Be: Kevin Slowey

Kevin Slowey’s best season as a Twin came in 2010, as he went 13-6 with a 4.46 ERA in 28 starts. His talent hasn’t been in question, and many think he has the pitches to last in this league.

What he may not have is the health to stay in the league. Slowey has made trips to the disabled list three times in the last three years, an alarming trend considering he is only 26 years old.

All indications are that the tricep injury that put Slowey on the DL last August has healed and that he will be ready to go when pitchers and catchers report in February. Still, Slowey’s durability is something that has to be watched closely.

Should Be: Kyle Gibson

Kyle Gibson started the 2010 season with the organization’s Single-A team, but solid performances throughout the summer earned him a spot in the rotation at Triple-A Rochester by season’s end.

Between the clubs Gibson pitched in last season, he earned himself an 11-6 record in 26 starts. He struck out more than seven batters per nine innings while walking two per nine.

If Pavano does end up leaving for Washington or Slowey’s health does fail him as it could seemingly do at any time, it’s quite possible that Gibson will be called upon to fill a spot in the rotation.

Assuming the rest of the rotation holds up, Gibson’s placement in the rotation would force Nick Blackburn to the Twins’ bullpen, where he could potentially help fill existing holes.

It’s not a completely unfathomable situation since Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has made it clear that Duensing won’t be back in the bullpen.

The organization doesn’t want to put Gibson in the bullpen since he’s the best starting talent that the Twins have had in their farm system in a long time, and they’d like him to be starting for the Twins as soon as possible.

Note: Projected starting rotation based on Minnesota Twins current depth chart

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MLB Free Agent Rumors: Ranking the Top 20 Remaining on the Market

With Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth out of the picture now, the free agency period has settled into the backdrop.  However, many players are still out on the market looking for contracts. 

Even with the big names signing big contracts, there is still plenty of talent available.  Here are the top 20 free agents that are still available. 

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MLB Rumors: Where The Top Remaining MLB Free Agents Will Land

While most of the winter’s biggest prizes have been snatched up (Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford to name a couple) and delivered as early Christmas presents to franchises, there still remains a solid group of free agents who can impact the upcoming season for many prospective teams. In the spirit of the New Year, let’s countdown from the Type Bs to Type As remaining on the Free Agent landscape and where they will land in 2011:

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MLB Rumors: Are Adrian Beltre and Derrek Lee Ready To Cash In?

It has been an eventful 2010 off-season for Major League Baseball. Some of the league’s biggest names have changed uniforms, most notably Cliff Lee (back to the Phillies), Carl Crawford (Red Sox), Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox) and Jayson Werth (Nationals). 

Of the remaining free agents, Adrian Beltre and Derek Lee seem to be the best position players still without a contract. Rumors are swirling all over the board as to the possible value of Beltre’s contract, and where Derek Lee will choose to play ball for the 2011 season. 

Besides Beltre and Lee, trade talks are ever-present, and prospective suitors also have other moves on the brain. Here are the most recent rumors, with speculation as to what they actually mean for Beltre, Lee, other free agents, and the teams involved.

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Washington Nationals Should Say ‘No Thank You’ To Carl Pavano

The Washington Nationals are running out of time to revamp their roster for the 2011 season and frankly, they are running out of impact players to sign.

After kicking off the baseball winter meetings by signing Jayson Werth to his historic contract, they have seen the impact of that signing mitigated by a string of failures.

They kicked the tires on Cliff Lee, but say they were never serious. They agreed to a trade that would have brought Zack Greinke to Washington, but the former Cy Young award winner invoked his no-trade clause and became a Milwaukee Brewer the following day.

The Nationals tried to trade for Dodgers first baseman James Loney but that deal fell apart when Los Angeles signed a free-agent catcher, punching a hole in Washington’s prospect offer.

They got a couple of promising kids from Oakland in the Josh Willingham trade and—for whatever it’s worth—signed Rick Ankiel to a one-year deal.

And the Nationals and Orioles and Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche continue to play musical chairs around first base. Money versus length of contract keeps the players spinning. When one signs, the other will go down shortly thereafter.

Look for Derrek Lee to wear the team’s “Curly W” any day now.

And now Brandon Webb, who many believed would sign with the Nationals as sort of a yin to Chien-Ming Wang’s yang (two broken toys ready to again be played with), signed with the Rangers.

Rizzo was a man who believed he could make a splash in the baseball world this offseason; he had the money and knew which players were difference-makers. But for any number of reasons—most bad—the Nationals could be returning home with an empty quiver.

Right now, about the only player of any consequence that remains at the dance is Carl Pavano, currently with the Minnesota Twins. The 34-year-old came through for the Twins last season, going 17-11, with a 3.75 ERA. He wants a three-year deal that could top $30 million before it’s all said and done. 

If the Nationals want to make good on their promise to bring a top-of-the-rotation starter to Washington for 2011, Pavano is about their last chance to do it. Oh sure, there are a few players in the scratch-and-dent department who could—but probably won’t—fill that bill.

Will Pavano? Can Carl Pavano do enough to change the direction of the Washington Nationals, or is the person he would replace just as apt to help the Nationals toward respectability?

Pavano began his major league career in the Nationals organization in the days of “Les Expos.” He came to Montreal from Boston in the Pedro Martinez trade.

In his first five seasons, Pavano had a record of 27-37, 4.71, 10.0/3.0/6.0 and an average of just five wins per season.

He spent the next two years with Florida and did well, averaging 15-10, 3.61 and 8.8/2.1/5.8. But he parlayed those two good seasons into a four-year, $38 million deal with the Yankees, which turned out to be a big mistake by the boys from the Bronx.

Over the life of the contract, Pavano battled injuries and won just nine games with a 5.00 ERA. He missed the entire 2006 season due to injury. In 2008, he went 4-2, 5.77 with the Indians and by 2009 began to look like his old self, going 14-12, 5.10, 10.6/.1.8/.6.6.

However, he did lead the league in earned runs allowed.

Last season, he came back full force and was as good a pitcher as there was in the American League.

Over his 12-year career, he has averaged just 125 innings per season as a starting pitcher. He has allowed almost 10 hits per nine innings. He has excellent control, however, allowing just 2.3 walks per nine. But he doesn’t strike out many batters and doesn’t have that power arm that GM Mike Rizzo covets. He has struck out just 5.7 batters per nine innings in 12 seasons.

Pavano is expecting a multi-year contract and I don’t think it’s a good idea. Over his first three seasons he averaged 112 innings per year. In his second three-year stint, it was 127 innings. Then came 111 innings and finally, over the last two years, 152 innings.

There is nothing in those numbers that would suggest that Carl Pavano would be available over any length of a multi-year deal. And in those 12 career seasons, he has won more than 12 just three times.

Yes, the Nationals will cause a stir in the baseball world if they sign Carl Pavano, but it will be for the wrong reasons. Pavano doesn’t deserve a long-term contract and I hope the Nationals don’t give him one.

Here are Livan Herandez’ numbers from last season:

10-12, 3.66, 211 innings, 9.2/2.7/.4.8


And Carl Pavano’s stats from 2010:

17-11, 3.75, 221 innings, 9.2/1.5/4.8


Livan pitched the same number of innings, allowed the same number of hits per nine innings, struck out the same number and walked one more batter per game. His ERA was one-tenth of a run better.

And Livan got only the most cursory of major league contracts for 2011 while Pavano is looking for $30 million?

It won’t help the Nationals to sign Carl Pavano. They have enough starting pitching now that whoever they throw out there every fifth day has the potential to play as well and has far less chance to see his pitching arm fall off.

Let’s pass on Pavano and look for one more bat, letting the offense carry the team for one more year until Stephen Strasburg returns in 2012.

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