- Rangers Release Ryan Ludwick
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- Nate Schierholtz Opts Out Of Deal With Rangers
- Cubs Release Felix Doubront
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- Twins’ Lewis Thorpe To Have Tommy John Surgery
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Carl Pavano Rumors
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.
The White Sox have received positive reviews for their accumulation of young talent over the last year. But with that youth movement comes a lot of roster questions, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin, who provides an excellent early look at a spring that should be worthy of close attention. Here are some more scattered notes from the day:
- For the Angels, another new starting pitching acquisition is highly unlikely at this point, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. "None of the deals made sense for us, whether trying to access veteran starters through trade or free agency," said Dipoto. "And we didn't want to do anything that didn't make sense for us." Dipoto says that he is comfortable with his team's starting depth and likes its upside.
- The Twins will be among the team's attending a showcase on Thursday featuring Cuban infielder Aledmys Diaz and righty Odrisamer Despaigne, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. The pair is expected to sign in short order, says Wolfson. Diaz, in particular, could be an interesting participant in the marketplace.
- Dominican July 2 prospect Yirver Gilbert Lara is reportedly said by some scouts to have agreed to a $3.2MM signing bonus with the Brewers. Lara's trainer, Jaime Ramos, told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that "there is nothing concrete and there are still a lot of teams interested in him," including the Brewers, Royals, Yankees, and Twins. Whether or not Lara lands in Milwaukee, explain Sanchez and his MLB.com colleague Adam McCalvy, the Brewers appear set to embark on greatly increased levels of international spending and player development efforts. (The team's largest international bonus awards to date are just $800K.)
- Pitcher Carl Pavano is progressing in rehab and plans to throw off of a mound in a week or so, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The 38-year-old, who did not pitch professionally last year, hopes to put on a showcase in the near future.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that outside of his own representation, you won’t find a lot of legal experts who believe Alex Rodriguez will win in federal court. “I would be surprised if the decision is reversed,” Stanford law professor William B. Gould IV said. “Since 1960, arbitration awards can only be reversed when the arbitrator decides on his own ideas of justice rather than the CBA or because of fraud, corruption or partiality. The merits are for the arbitrator, not the courts. Probably the arbitrator should have called Selig to the stand to avoid partiality, but that won’t be a basis for reversal on its own. As for the union, their obligation is to investigate A-Rod’s claim in good faith — they did so and took his case. And allowing his own counsel.” More from today's column..
- Teams are staying away from Nelson Cruz because salary demands still haven’t come down quite enough, according to one National League GM. He made sense for the Orioles as a power-hitting right-handed bat, but their recent acquisition of Delmon Young may have squashed their interest.
- Teams have been reluctant to pony up a four- or five-year deal for Matt Garza and he may have to settle for fewer years, even with the price of pitching very high. “There may be concerns about him physically,” said one AL exec. “I think most teams are thinking four or five years is just too risky, even if he’s a no-compensation guy.”
- Cafardo hears that the bidding for Masahiro Tanaka could get as high as $120MM over six years and that he could shake hands on a deal before the January 24th deadline.
- The Red Sox were not among the teams who watched Chone Figgins workout in Arizona as he attempts a comeback. Figgins hopes to resurrect his career, even if it’s as a utility man. It appears he’ll get the chance to be in camp with someone.
- After recovering from life-threatening injuries and having his spleen removed, Carl Pavano is throwing off of flat ground in Arizona, according to his agent, Dave Pepe. “Some teams have popped in to see where he’s at. Our intention is for him to throw bullpens for teams in mid-February,” Pepe said.
- Former Rockies and Red Sox pitcher Aaron Cook is also looking to bounce back after a tired arm ended his season in July. He did not pitch in the majors last season, making eight starts with Triple A Colorado Springs.
- Agent Alan Nero says he'd be surprised if any of the arbitration-eligible players went to a hearing this year.
- Former Indians and Mariners skipper Eric Wedge will likely take a network television job soon but he'd like to get another chance in the dugout at some point.
- Reliever Cedrick Bowers, who spent last season in the Atlantic League, is starting to catch the eye of scouts in Venezuela.
Here's the latest news from both the NL and AL Central divisions…
- The Brandon Phillips trade rumors may have temporarily stopped, though Reds president/CEO Bob Castellini left the door slightly open when talking to reporters today (including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon and the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay). "Brandon is part of the team, boys," Castellini said. "Walt [GM Walt Jocketty] was just exploring. You have to understand what he's up against. He's got to look around. Brandon Phillips is an integral part of this franchise….But you never say never."
- The Cubs and John Axford share a mutual interest in each other, Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports. Axford would get a chance to compete for the Cubs' closing job, though the right-hander seemingly has plenty of opportunities around the league, with a reported 14 teams checking in following his non-tender from the Cardinals.
- The Cubs and Royals are two of the teams who have shown interest in Joba Chamberlain, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets. No signing seems to be imminent for either team, however. Chamberlain is another relief arm who has drawn significant attention on the open market, as he may be seen as a reclamation candidate after some tough seasons with the Yankees.
- The Twins have spoken to John Buck's agent, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports, and a source tells Berardino that Buck is Minnesota's top target amongst available catchers. It isn't clear how interested in the Twins are, however, given that Josmil Pinto is still the club's preferred choice to take over the everyday catching job now that Joe Mauer has been moved to first base.
- Carl Pavano talked with Berardino about his comeback attempt from a freak snow-shoveling accident that left him with a ruptured spleen and sidelined the veteran righty for the entire 2013 season. Pavano said the Twins haven't contacted him about a return: "I haven't really talked to them. I don't know if that would be a good fit anyway. I think we're in different places. They need those younger guys in their rotation."
The biggest winners at this year's qualifying offer deadline include Bronson Arroyo, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the Yankees and Red Sox, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal writes. Arroyo and Saltalamacchia, who did not receive qualifying offers, could now be headed toward nice-sized paydays. And the Yankees and Red Sox, who extended qualifying offers to three players apiece, could receive plenty of draft picks if they don't re-sign their players. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.
- Despite their World Series win, the Red Sox don't plan on standing pat this offseason, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports. Leaving aside that a number of players (Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and so on) are free agents, the Red Sox believe (probably wisely, given the experiences of franchises like the 2002 Angels who got too attached to successful teams) that they can't simply hope to repeat the same success in 2014 with the same players. "I remember at the time what Theo (Epstein, former general manager) felt strongly about is that if you try to replicate exactly, it's probably not going to work the same," says Cherington.
- The Mets aren't big fans of Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo, and therefore don't appear likely to deal for him, Andy Martino of New York Daily News tweets. Given that the Mets don't seem to be looking for a first baseman, that makes sense, although Trumbo played 27 games in the outfield last season as well.
- Agent Dave Pepe tells Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (Twitter link) that Carl Pavano will start throwing December 1 to determine if he wants to come back. The right-hander, who will turn 38 in early January, missed all of last season after having his spleen removed.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Carl Pavano will not be physically able to play this season after January's snow shoveling accident required the removal of his spleen, agent Dave Pepe tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. "His hope is that he can give it a try next year," Pepe texted to Heyman.
Pavano's accident was no laughing matter – one of his lungs collapsed and doctors removed 6.5 liters of blood from his chest cavity before his spleen could be removed. "I was hours away from going into cardiac arrest and probably wouldn't even be here," Pavano told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in February.
Pavano, 37, has a 4.39 career ERA in 1788 2/3 innings for the Expos, Marlins, Yankees, Indians, and Twins spanning 14 seasons. His 108 career wins rank fifth among those born in Connecticut, with Charles Nagy the modern leader at 129.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with Indians manager Terry Francona, who is very grateful to have a fresh start. Francona would love to make things competitive with the Tigers in his first season in Cleveland, but he's not getting ahead of himself. “There are good teams in our division,” said Francona. “We know how good Detroit is, but you know we can’t approach the season like that. We know we’re playing Toronto first and we have to take care of things with them and then move on to the next series." Here's more from Cafardo..
- Carlos Zambrano is an intriguing free agent, but his reputation as a bad clubhouse guy coupled with his downward-trending performance has kept teams away. “You’ve got to be up for what he brings,” said an NL GM. “Not saying the guy hasn’t been good in his career because he has, but when things go bad, he has a rap sheet that shows how he reacts, and that’s hard to overcome.” The 31-year-old boasts a career 3.66 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.
- Brian Wilson could be an option for the Tigers once he’s ready, but one National League GM says that he's going to stick to his plan of not letting anyone see him throw until he's 100%, “I think everyone is anxious to see when that time comes, because if he gets it back to what he used to be, he’s going to help someone immediately down the stretch of a pennant race,” said the GM. Cafardo won't rule out a return to the Giants for Wilson either.
- The serious spleen injury suffered by free agent right-hander Carl Pavano has put baseball in the distant future and could even spell the end of his career. Pavano lost a significant amount of blood and faces a long recovery after he fell at his Vermont home while shoveling snow.
- People in baseball have long been wondering when the Cubs will trade Alfonso Soriano, but Cafardo notes that the veteran seems especially happy with the club and has played with intensity through spring training. Soriano is set to earn $18MM in each of the next two seasons.
The Rockies are no longer looking at free agent starter Carl Pavano, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (via Twitter). It's likely that the team backed off its pursuit due to Pavano recently suffering a ruptured spleen, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Pavano is expected to need six-to-eight weeks to recuperate from the injury, which occurred while he was shoveling snow at his home.
The Mets and Rockies had both recently been linked to Pavano and New York had already moved on, agreeing to sign Shaun Marcum earlier today. Colorado has been looking to sign either Pavano or Derek Lowe this week though Renck reported yesterday that the Rockies weren't close to signing either pitcher. It's hard to see Pavano finding a new team before Opening Day given that he'll miss most of Spring Training and was already an injury risk given that he missed the last four months of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury.
- Though the Rockies continue looking for starting pitching, they aren’t close to signing Carl Pavano or Derek Lowe, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. Renck reported earlier this week that the Rockies were pursuing the free agent right-handers aggressively.
- The Rockies would love to sign free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league deal, Renck reports. The veteran backstop played for the Rangers, Brewers and Blue Jays in 2012.
- The Yankees discussed Delmon Young internally, but didn’t have great reports on his performance, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Phillies signed Young to a one-year contract yesterday.
- Vernon Wells could spend much of the coming season on the Angels’ bench, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Wells is unlikely to be traded, yet he doesn’t project as a regular. Though the Angels explored deals involving Wells, owner Arte Moreno was never willing to absorb a substantial part of the $42MM remaining on Wells’ contract to complete a trade. Naturally other teams weren’t interested in paying Wells $21MM per season through 2014.
We've seen a couple of Minor League signings in the AL West tonight, with the Astros adding Erik Bedard and the Rangers adding Nate Robertson. Here's some more news coming out of baseball's two western divisions…
- The Rockies have offered Yorvit Torrealba a Minor League contract, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding (via Troy Renck on Twitter). Torrealba hit .227/.293/.330 in 218 plate appearances between the Rangers, Blue Jays and Brewers. He hit .258/.316/.394 over the course of four seasons with the Rox from 2006-09.
- Renck believes that the Rockies have a good chance at landing Carl Pavano, but suspects that the veteran righty has at least one other offer (Twitter link). Colorado is said to be aggressively pursuing Pavano.
- There's a "definite opportunity" for Rick Ankiel to make the Astros' 25-man roster this Spring, manager Bo Porter told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. The team is looking for a left-handed complement to J.D. Martinez and Justin Maxwell. Ankiel inked a Minor League deal with Houston earlier this month. Porter was his third base coach with the Nationals.
- In that same piece, Porter says that he spoke with recently suspended prospect Jonathan Singleton and told Singleton the organization is behind him as he looks to atone for his mistake.