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.