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Carl Pavano is suddenly the top starting pitcher on the market

Dec 14, 2010, 11:48 AM EDT


By waiting until the Cliff Lee domino fell Carl Pavano has put himself in position to be the most sought-after starting pitcher on the free agent market, which is both very smart on his agent’s part and remarkable given how the veteran right-hander was viewed just a couple years ago.

Pavano was a huge bust in New York, winning a grand total of nine games for the Yankees during a four-year, $40 million contract and spending more time on the disabled list than in the rotation.

After leaving the Yankees following the 2008 season his stock was so low and he was viewed as so undependable that Pavano managed only an incentive-laden one-year deal with the Indians that guaranteed him just $1.5 million. In the two seasons since then Pavano has pitched very well and even more surprisingly proven to be very durable, not missing a single start while going 31-21 with a 4.39 ERA in 420 innings.

Even before Lee made his decision Pavano was drawing significant interest from at least three teams and now that the Rangers have missed out on Lee it’s possible they’ll join the Twins, Nationals, and Brewers in pursuit of Pavano. Put aside his history in New York and Pavano would be a pretty good fit for the Yankees too, but you can be certain there’s zero chance of general manager Brian Cashman signing him a second time.

In the span of two years Pavano has gone from oft-injured bust to dependable innings eater and he could be in line for as much as $30 million in upfront money after getting just $1.5 million guaranteed last time he hit the open market.

  1. BC - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Fear the Pavanostache.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Aaron, I respectfully disagree with you on Pavano returning to the Universe. Brian Cashman is having a poor off season but he is a businessman and will not give up on any alternative. He’s also not knee-jerk on fans initial reactions if he feels something might work out.
    And Pavano might.

  3. pisano - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Remember the saying: “your reputation precedes you” this is the scumbag that took 40 mil. from the Yankees and in one so called injury he pulled his ass muscle, that’s one I’ve never heard before, but in reality it was his lack of a heart. He may get signed, but it won’t be for the supposed second best pitcher money. This guy is like a car with a couple hundred thousand miles on it: “buyer beware”

  4. dodger88 - Dec 14, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Stanger things have happened; if the Yanks were willing to bring back Vasquez for a 2nd go around one can’t entirely rule out Pavano signing with the Yanks.

    • bigharold - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:16 PM

      True they did bring back Vasquez but there are two important differences.

      1. Vasquez at least gave it everything he had and wanted very badly to be a Yankee. Neither was the impression given off by Pavano the last time he was with the Yankees.
      2. It would likely cost him nearly as much in terms of years and dollars as it did the last time. If Cashman brought Pavano back with the same or similar results it might well cost him his job.
      Also, I’m not aware that Pavano has expressed the least bit of interest in returning to the Yankees. You’d think that if he wanted to come back and “redeem” himself there would be something in media hinting about it. So far Nada!

      Regardless of the need for SP, Pavano returning to the Yankees would seem to have a snowflakes chance in hell.

  5. georgeanderson2 - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    The Orioles need to get in the mix for Pavano as well as Derek Lee.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:15 PM

      The Orioles need to get out of that division.

      • georgeanderson2 - Dec 14, 2010 at 4:36 PM

        That would be great ,if they could get out of the AL East. Who wants to watch the Yankees and Red Sox buy playoff teams year after year. And yes, Tampa has had some really talented teams over the past few years, but that won’t last long. It is always going to be the Yankees and Red Sox competing for the AL East title with Blue Jays, Orioles and Rays trying to stay out of last place. You can’t fault those teams for playing within the rules and if I were a fan of them I would be thrilled about the team each year.

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