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Twins offer Pavano arbitration; will he accept?

Dec 1, 2009, 5:38 PM EDT

Today has been filled with all sorts of news on the arbitration front and there will be more offers and non-offers rolling in tonight, but I’m particularly curious about one player’s status.
Minnesota offered Carl Pavano arbitration and because he’s a Type B free agent that guarantees the Twins a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. Pavano also has the ability to accept the offer, in which case Minnesota would be on the hook for whatever one-year contract the arbiter decides.
Given his lengthy injury history it might seem obvious that Pavano would simply accept what’s essentially a one-year deal at market value, but believe it or not he may have actually pitched himself into a multi-year contract by staying healthy for the first time since 2004. After a terrible April he went 14-9 with a 4.67 ERA in 181.1 innings for the rest of the year, including 5-4 with a 4.62 ERA in a dozen starts for the Twins.
No doubt many teams will simply stay away from Pavano because of his track record–I’ll go out on a huge limb and say that Brian Cashman won’t be giving him a call–but my guess is that at least a few other general managers have already been in touch with his agent. He tossed 199 innings while ranking among the AL’s top five in starts, walk rate, and strikeout-to-walk ratio, so unlikely as it may have been even six months ago there’s probably little risk of Pavano actually accepting Minnesota’s arbitration offer.
Ultimately the Twins will probably have to go beyond a one-year deal to retain him, which would be an awfully big risk for a 34-year-old whose upside is mid-rotation starter and downside is … well, disabled list resident.

  1. Bill@TDS - Dec 1, 2009 at 9:14 PM

    A draft pick and Rich Harden would be nice. But Pavano and thus no Washburn would be acceptable…

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