Free Agent Stock Watch: Carl Pavano

Carl Pavano isn't the best pitcher in the Twins rotation – that honor goes to Francisco Liriano – but he has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the American League this year. Pavano ranks second in the AL in walk rate (1.5 BB/9), third in innings pitched and 14th in ERA (3.52).

He currently projects as a Type A free agent, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Twins offer arbitration, like they did last year. If Pavano accepts, he will return on a one-year deal, presumably for more than the $7MM he makes in 2010. If he declines, the Twins obtain two top picks and the 34-year-old has to fend for himself.

Pavano could try to land a two-year deal on the open market, but teams must be wary of making a multi-year commitment to Pavano given his failed four-year $39.95MM deal with the Yankees. As a result, teams are likely to turn to Ted Lilly or Hiroki Kuroda if they're going to offer more than one year to a mid-thirties starter.

It's possible that some team likes Pavano enough to guarantee him a two-year deal, but his age and injury history suggest he's looking at another one-year contract. As a result, we could very well see a repeat of last offseason when the Twins offered arbitration and Pavano accepted.

41 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Carl Pavano Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    And he’s still the title holder of most hated man in New York.

  2. is the mustache coming with?

  3. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    I seriously think he’s destined to stay in Minnesota. He’s pitched great all season and as Mitch Williams likes to say, if it aint broke don’t fix it. Give the guy 10MM.

  4. dascual 5 years ago

    I think the Phillies should sign him then trade Halladay or Oswalt away……

    • sound logic.

      • dascual 5 years ago

        Seems to be the way they work in Phillie

        • I’m a Phillie fan, and even I have to laugh at the irony. After two years in office Rube’s big free agent signings were Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco, two mid-thirties players who likely should have gotten no more than two-year deals. But hey, that’s Rube, when everyone else does two, he does three.

          Anyone who has ever seen Outside Providence feels me on that quote.

        • logicx24 5 years ago

          Yeah seriously. Why would they trade away Cliff Lee? For not even that great of a package Think of this rotation in Phillie:HalladayLeeOswalt Hamels Someone else (I don’t know any other phillies pitchers)That would have taken them to the World Series. Thats why I think the Phillies are such Phools.

          • $1529282 5 years ago

            If they hadn’t traded Lee, they wouldn’t have felt the need to go get Oswalt though, keep in mind.

            Still, completely agree that it was ridiculous to trade him.

            Other Phillies starters would be Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick, and Jamie Moyer (though he’s on the DL), by the way.

    • why would anyone trade halladay.and who would trade oswalt besides Houston

  5. ryetoons 5 years ago

    the Mets could sign him, then KRod could jump him and then Mets could have Oliver Perez, KRod, and Pavano all on the DL making millions and millions!

  6. Pavano is on a short list of free agent starters that I’d like to see the Tigers pursue this winter. Lee, Pavano, Arroyo, Webb, and Lilly are the primo’s. I’d have lesser interest in DeLaRosa, Vazquez, and Padilla, and I think that Pettite and Kuroda stay with their current teams, if anything.

    But I’d just hate to give a draft pick to the Twinkies if they offered him arbitration and he declined. He should decline and try to get a two year deal. There just aren’t many starting pitchers this winter that are better on the FA market, especially AL pitchers.

    • peazgrl 5 years ago

      Tigers just need to pursue just so he won’t be killing the Tiger hitting like he has the last two seasons…

      • Ain’t that the truth? !

        First, Pavano turns down the Tigers and goes to the Yankees for more money (thank you) and the Tigers sign Ordonez instead (thank you, thank you!) but when he gets healthy, he kills the Tigers first in Cleveland, then in Minnesota. The Tigs finally beat him late last year, but the damage had been done.

        I thought we sorta solved the problem of the Twinkies being able to keep pulling pitchers out of the minors that throw nothing but strikes when we stole Rick Knapp from them, but Knappster’s bullpen led the league in BB’s last year and there the Twins are with the fewest BB’s in the league once again! Gotta hand it to them. They keep churning out pitchers. Not All Stars, but just good, solid pitchers.

        • TwinsVet 5 years ago

          “Pitch to contact” is the mantra all the way from rookie league on up. It’s been a longstanding philosophy at all levels that you don’t move up in the organization if you can’t throw strikes. I think it’s been embraced to the point of “culture”, so any one coach doesn’t really make a difference.

          Unfortunately, it does make the fireballers like Scherzer and Verlander – who are dazzling to watch – more rare in our system…

        • twins33 5 years ago

          As TwinsVet said, it’s an organizational philosophy. They’d have to go a completely different route in their entire organization and I don’t see that happening any time soon. Guys who aren’t flame throwers don’t wear down as quickly as guys who are. Plus, they are cheaper.

          It’s about the pitchers really, not the coach. You can tell flame throwers to throw strikes but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Most don’t have that pinpoint control and never needed it. Liriano used to just throw hard and guys would swing. After surgery, he had to learn how to pitch. He can’t just throw it out there like he used to or he’ll get rocked like 2009.

          The Tigers would have to re-do their whole philosophy if they wanted future pitchers to be strike throwers. Guys who throw hard and are also accurate at the same time are hard to find. It’d have to start from the bottom and be taught all the way up. Unless that pitcher had previous experience with a coach like that and it’s already a part of his pitching style.

          And Knapp wasn’t a huge loss. I’d say if we lost Bobby Cuellar, the Twins AAA pitching coach, it would be a big loss. He’s probably the best pitching coach in the organization. He taught Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez how to throw the changeup and we know how good at it they are/were. He also helped make Randy Johnson the beast that he was.

          We lost Cuellar to the Pirates for a few years, but he’s back.

  7. I will create a whole league full of teams and sign him to one of them for 10MM.

    The catch? That team has a no-mustache policy.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      Matty Guerrier was talking on the radio this morning about how Carl was telling him the stache may just become a permanent life-long fixture. Some of the staff thought he might shave it when he got roughed up a couple outings back, but he told Matty that he’s grown incredibly attached.

  8. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    I had a beer with Carl a few weeks ago at Toby Keith’s new bar in St. Louis Park. Long story short, I’m convinced he comes back to Minne next season, one way or another.

    And keep in mind that his age belies his arm fatigue – he missed the better part of 4 seasons, and that’s saved alot of typical wear-and-tear on ligaments and tendons.

  9. Carl Pavano as a free agent…..that’s a funny story I think all of baseball would care not to re-live.

  10. Just_MLB 5 years ago

    dont laugh, but i can totally see the mets signing pavano to a 2 year 14 mil dollar deal….a rotation of santana, pavano, pelfrey, niese, dickey would actually be decent.

    • baseballdude 5 years ago

      yeah theyll improve from like the 30th best rotation in the legue to the 24 best rotation in the legue

      • Just_MLB 5 years ago

        ummm….i know its en vogue to make fun of the mets…despite all their
        woes, their pitching has been pretty good this year. they have the 7th best
        ERA in MLB..with a better offensive approach with RISP and esp. from the 7th
        inning on, they probably would be in the hunt right now. they have ranked
        dead last with hitting with the bases loaded for 3 years running.

    • But Pavano would get about 10 million for 1 year in arbitration. So 2/14 probably won’t do it. (unless Pavano declines arb and ends up really misjudging the market).

      • Just_MLB 5 years ago

        interesting if he accepts arbitration. After Lee comes off the market, how
        many other SP’s are available?

    • Slopeboy 5 years ago

      Pavano is not going to NY. The real reason that he did not do well,was because he could not stand the pressre and the media. The first four years he had minor injuries that were always followed with ‘setbacks’ when it was time to return. Just about everytime he returned he got lit up and then injured again. As an example, he fell on his butt in a game and it took 3 months to get back from a bruised Buttock.That was after missing substanial time prior. Finally in his last year he did sustain a serious injury, and made it back in time to show the ML that he could pitch again in order to look for a contract. Ask any Yankee fan about Pavano and they will tell you his picture should be in hanging the Post Office as wanted for robbery.

      • Just_MLB 5 years ago

        what ur saying is that it doesnt make sense for the mets to sign Pavano. The
        Mets dont always make sense.

  11. twins33 5 years ago

    If Carl signed for 2/15 or somewhere around there, I think I’d be happy. I don’t want them to overpay him though. The Twins likely are stuck with the pitchers they have and the only other FA pitcher out there I like is Lee. Kyle Gibson should not start out the season in the majors, but I can see him being a callup halfway through if he’s doing really well.

    Pavano would leave a big hole in a team that seems to need at least one vet pitcher to help the other guys. He’s done very well in all aspects since joining the Twins.

    Lee would be the only other guy I’d want. I could see the Twins offering him a good deal, a fair deal. I don’t know if it’d be the highest and we’d be competing with other teams. I doubt Minnesota is on his high list. Even if we gave him everything he wanted I could see him choosing somewhere else.

    Pavano seems like the best choice for this team, if Lee is out of the question, which he probably is.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      I’m actually not seeing Pavano as terribly necessary next year. He’d be nice to have, but Duensing deserves to be in the rotation from Day 1.


      Gibson/Manship/Perkins waiting in the wings to spot-start as necessary.

      Blackburn isn’t going to the pen, Slowey still has a pretty high ceiling, and Baker/Liriano aren’t going anywhere. Pavano’s return bumps Duensing, and I’m not sure that’s such a good thing.

      Take that $7-10M/yr Pavano represents and use it for bringing back Hudson (or someone of his calibre) at 2B…

      • twins33 5 years ago

        I’m just worried because they’ve tried to do it without a vet and then end up trading for a vet during the middle of the season because the other guys can’t pull their weight. Or they pick up a crappy vet to start, Hernandez…which doesn’t work, but Pavano hasn’t been Hernandez.

        Imagine this season without Pavano. For nearly one whole month Pavano was the only one doing well and going deep in the games. Pavano deserves about 3 more wins, but he hasn’t had the run support. Not that the other guys haven’t had the same issue off and on, but without Pavano for that one month, we might still be looking up.

        I’m not worried about Liriano or Duensing, but the rest of the guys are kind of suspect. Slowey doesn’t have his pinpoint control that he used to, at least not now. Blackburn had an extremely rough month and maybe the league is catching up to him..maybe not, but we will see. Baker has been considered the team’s de facto ace from time to time and he usually doesn’t show up until the second half of the season. I feel Baker shouldn’t have to take 3-4 months to get going, but he usually does.

      • nick1538 5 years ago

        I agree, with most of that…

        Pavano isn’t necessary, but his veteran/innings eating presence is very important to a team that is filled with pitchers who usually can’t pitch beyond the 7th inning (Liriano gets too many Ks, Baker is inconsistant, Slowey wears down after 90 pitches). Baker and Liriano should be locks going into 2011, but having too many pitchers is a good thing. Maybe we could trade Slowey or Blackburn…

        As far as Gibson/Manship/Perkins waiting in the wings… I don’t think Perkins should be on the 40-man roster, Manship is really only a spot starter at best and Gibson should be doing more than spot starting when he makes in the ML level.

  12. RedbirdRuffian 5 years ago

    Pavano looks to be very comfortable in Minnesota and has pitched very well. A solid 2-3 guy in the rotation when healthy. Could have a few more wins with better run support. Don’t know where he would go unless he is all about the $$ which I don’t think he is. When his career is over he’ll never have to work, right now he is looking for a ring and the Twins offer the best opportunity for that.

    • j6takish 5 years ago

      He has a ring

      • twins33 5 years ago

        Doesn’t make you not want more! I understand what you mean though, RedbirdRuffian might have forgot about the Marlins season.

        • j6takish 5 years ago

          No doubt he wants more, but I think he would rather not go down in history as “the most hated man in new york”…which is a bunk arguement anyway. The Yankees gave a ton of money to a pitcher with a well documented injury history just because he beat them in the world series. When AJ Burnett crashes and burns, people will forget all about Pavano

          • ellisburks 5 years ago

            What do you mean “When AJ Burnett crashes and burns” 10-12, 5.15ERA, 1.506 WHIP, 78 ERA+ All for $16.5 mil this year or roughly 40% of what they gave Pavano for 3 years.

          • $1529282 5 years ago

            Yeah I’d say Burnett already has crashed and burned. That contract was one of the worst in baseball before the ink on his signature even dried. Yankees are gonna be stuck with him for three more long years and a whole lot of money. Just a terrible signing.

            I think Sabathia and Tex end up blowing up in their face too, though much further down the road and to a lesser extent.

          • Slopeboy 5 years ago

            Trust me, Yankee fans will not forget Pavano. You’re correct on the history and the reason NY signed him, also he was coming off a career year then. But the story with Pavano in NY was that he couldn’t pitch in NY, he did not like the fans and the media getting all over him for bad performances, and then he really did not make a serious effort to return after injury. On several occasions. It got so frustrating, that even the tightlipped Yankee players, started making comments to the media, leaking stories about his half- hearted efforts in rehabilitation and lame excuses. Mike Mussina, who was never fond of dealing with media even called him out in an effort to have the guy show up and pitch.In the next to last year of his contract, he hurt his arm while on re-hab and returned in Sept to pitch for new contract, so that can always be used in his defense. Burnett may very well crash and burn as you say, but NY fans will always remember that he contributed to a WS win. Burnett, for all his Jeykel & Hyde performances always shows up and when he stinks up the place, stands in front of his locker and takes his medicine. He does not make excuses and the fans always respect that. Can’t say anything like that about Pavano.

  13. logicx24 5 years ago

    What I find funny is that Carl Pavano pitched more innings this year then in his entire 4 year tenure with the Yankees.

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