Carl Pavano To Retire

Longtime MLB starter Carl Pavano will end his comeback bid and retire, agent Dave Pepe tells MLBTR. The 38-year-old threw 1,788 2/3 innings over parts of 14 seasons, posting a career 4.39 ERA.

"Despite my strong desire to compete and hard work in preparing for the upcoming season," said Pavano. "I feel that the amount of time lost from my spleen injury, coupled with the recovery from my complications from that injury, preclude me from continuing to compete at my highest level, which is necessary to perform in the major leagues." He went on to add that "three months of rigorous training have failed to produce the results that I was looking for to allow me to continue my major league career." 

Pavano had an injury-shortened 2012 campaign, then suffered a ruptured spleen through a freak accident. After sitting out the 2013 season, Pavano had been working his way back with the hopes of returning to the bigs for 2014.

Though he had many strong seasons, Pavano's best came in 2004, when he threw 222 1/3 innings for the Marlins, posting an even 3.00 ERA. He made his only All-Star game that year, and finished sixth in Cy Young voting.

Never a big strikeout pitcher, Pavano steadily honed his control over his career, going from issuing about 3 free passes per nine in his early days to a miniscule 1.1 BB/9 in his final campaign. After an injury-plagued and ill-fated stint with the Yankees, Pavano returned to delivering 200-inning seasons well into his mid-30's for the Twins. Between 2009-11, his age 33-35 seasons, Pavano put up 199 1/3, 221, and 222 innings, respectively. Though his ERA varied over that stretch (5.10, 3.75, and 4.30), advanced metrics never wavered in valuing his output, with his FIP holding between 4.00 and 4.10, his xFIP staying between 3.86 and 4.14, and his SIERA mark never falling outside of the 3.95 and 4.30 range.

In addition to his time in Florida, New York, and Minnesota, Pavano started his career with the Expos and also saw action with the Indians. Fangraphs values his career contribution at 23.7 wins above replacement, while Baseball-Reference pegs it at 17 WAR. Pavano earned over $63.5MM over his 14 years.

51 Responses to Carl Pavano To Retire Leave a Reply

  1. Does he have to wait 4 years to enter the DL Hall of Fame?

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

      They’ve changed the name of that to the Mark Prior award.

  2. Honestly… How long does it take to grow a dominating mustache again?

  3. DandyKoufax 1 year ago

    Another Expo leaves the stage (officially). Only 4 left with big league contracts.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      Probably nearly as many FO personnel left.

    • GeronimoJansen 1 year ago

      Who are the 4?

      • Contrarian30 1 year ago

        Bruce Chen, Jamey Carroll, Bartolo Colon, and Scott Downs.

      • LazerTown 1 year ago

        bartolo. alex gonzalez, endy, maicer?

        • johnsilver 1 year ago

          Will Vlad ever retire :-)

          • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

            He did, in September.

          • johnsilver 1 year ago

            Thanks Jeff. Thought he was still hanging around waiting for that perfect job that would never come his way.

          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            He did, the same weekend Todd Helton announced.

        • Metsfan93 1 year ago

          Does Endy have a MLB deal? Or Gonzalez, for that matter?

        • wadesawko 1 year ago


          • Metsfan93 1 year ago

            Did he ever play for the big league club? If not, then if you count him you’ve gotta count Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips too..

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            That awful trade.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        I thought knew at least 3 FO personnel, but was wrong. Only 2.

        Minaya (with SD) and Duquette (Orioles)

      • David Kowalski 1 year ago

        Jamey Carroll (2002-2004), Maicer Izturis (2004), Scott Downs (200, 2003-04) and Jon Rauch (2004). Rauch is a real surprise. He only pitched 23 innings for the Expos (2 starts, 7 relief appearances)

    • Paul Munz 1 year ago

      Jamey Carroll is still around too..
      same with Jon Rauch…

  4. johnsilver 1 year ago

    “Though Pavano had many excellent seasons”

    He did?? I watched him with the Fish, back when he actually had some velocity and even THEN he wasn’t capable of putting up anything really outstanding.

    Where were those good seasons after that?

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

      I’ll agree that I put that slightly too strongly … it is tough, sometimes, to arrive at just the right adjectives when writing a piece while monitoring other incoming news items (especially since the beat reporters are now live-tweeting every pitch of the spring).

      Ultimately, the guy was quite an effective pitcher for a good number of seasons — at least 2 fWAR in 6 campaigns, etc — and I think “solid” or “good” would be a very fair descriptor. But you are right, 2004 was far and away his best (at least in terms of results).

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        He was a solid innings eater Jeff. We can agree on that.

        The guy is retiring after being a guy, who pitched and won 100 games and throwing 200+ innings several times. Something many other guys never did and eating innings from the back of the rotation spot which is still important the last half of his career.

        Early on, including when he 1st came up? He was a highly looked upon guy. I remember both he and Brian Rose came up together thru the Sox system, was kind of hoping the Sox had been able to hang onto him and trade Rose instead in the Pedro deal. Pavano was the “exciting” guy, Rose the guy who hadn’t been able to cut it yet then.

  5. ian 1 year ago

    Good luck to him in retirement. He pitched well for my Twins.

  6. Ben_Cherington 1 year ago

    The former Yankee great….

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

      Though best known in Red Sox lore as the key piece in the Pedro Martinez trade.

  7. livestrong77nyyankz 1 year ago

    He spent time in New York? Who knew?

    • Vmmercan 1 year ago

      Sadly, I went to two games he started there. I’m about 43-9 lifetime and he accounts for two of those losses.

      • GetTheRunnerOver 1 year ago

        43-9? i advise you keep going to as much games as you can then

        • Vmmercan 1 year ago

          It may be more like 42-12 but yeah it’s definitely way up there, I’m even 2-0 on the road. Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter, Jeter’s 3000th hit, they’ve been very good to me. 12-4 vs the Red Sox. Oddly, the White Sox are 2-0 against me which continuously bothers me. It;s the only team I’ve never seen the Yankees beat but I’ve seen play. Had a 15 game package in 2010, went 12-3 and 1-0 in the playoffs.

          Even came back for a game last year (I live in FL now) and it was the Jayson Nix walk off game.

          I’ve been lobbying for them to pay for me for a long time haha.

      • livestrong77nyyankz 1 year ago

        All Yankee fans here can agree that you should go to more games! I do remember being 15-0 one year when Tino Martinez had come back to the Yankees for a final hurrah. The first game I went to that year was the start of a home run barrage he had before flaming out for good.

        • Vmmercan 1 year ago

          Gave details above, but yeah, 0-4 in Pavano started games or games against the White Sox. My other low point was a three loss streak against the Red Sox at the end of 2008 and then again in 2012 (the first half). I was at the 22-4 loss vs the Indians, but other than that all peachy.

  8. James O'Donnell 1 year ago

    Wonder if he’ll sign a one-day contract so he can retire in pinstripes.

  9. YankeeFan™ 1 year ago

    Thanks for your 26 starts in the Bronx NOTTTT !!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Daniel Morairity 1 year ago

    Carl Pavano was a very good pitcher when he was with the fish but when he sign with the twins and yankees his era was in the mid 4.00 era so this is the best pitcher to retire and he is only 38 and thats a good age to retire

    • Metsfan93 1 year ago

      He was solid as a Twin two of the three years. He never got going in New York due to health, although oddly enough he did pitch an Opening Day for them, and not the one immediately after signing the contract.

  11. GetTheRunnerOver 1 year ago

    Ben Sheets, Mark Prior and Joel Zumaya should throw a retirement party for him

  12. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    Congrats to Pavano on a nice career. That 2012 list of retirees keeps growing. If Johan never throws another pitch in the bigs it’ll be Vizquel, Thome, Chipper, Andruw, Rolen, Moyer, Damon, Pavano, Johan, and, assuming he doesn’t make Philly, Abreu.

    • Metsfan93 1 year ago

      I do believe Ben Sheets and Carlos Zambrano make it onto that list too.

  13. wadesawko 1 year ago

    App idea…. Baseball players net worth.

  14. Paul Munz 1 year ago

    Pavano’s W/L record was 108-107 ..which they left out of the article.
    Pavano was with the Indians for 4 months before they traded him to the Twins in August.

  15. ba9oriole 1 year ago

    I’m so glad the Orioles didn’t sign him back in 2005.

  16. Mike1L 1 year ago

    Jeff, all I can say is that you were far too kind. Pavano is the type of player that can drive fans nuts. In New York, he didn’t seem to care at all. 14 years, essentially all as a starter, 1789 IP (!?). Managed just five “full” seasons, only two of them with ERA+ over 100. $63M

  17. Jman1213 1 year ago

    I wouldn’t say he “earned” all $63.5 mil. Yes, I’m a Yankee fan.

  18. Unassisted Triple Play 1 year ago

    Unfortunate as a Yankee, solid performer as a Twin. People bashing Carl Pavano need to know his philanthropic work was second to none! Great career Carl, stay healthy and keep rocking that epic stache!

  19. Unassisted Triple Play 1 year ago

    Unfortunate as a Yankee, solid performer as a Twin. People bashing Carl Pavano need to know his philanthropic work was second to none! Great career Carl, stay healthy and keep rocking that epic stache!

  20. Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

    Future hall of famer no doubt.

    HA! Gotcha!

  21. PhillyYank 1 year ago

    He had a sedentary playing career anyway.

  22. 0vercast 1 year ago

    The guy fell on the tip of a snow shovel handle and ruptured his spleen, leading to a collapsed lung within days. He almost died, and you crack jokes about it. Pure class.

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