The Twins solidified their starting rotation for the upcoming season by re-signing veteran right hander Carl Pavano to a two-year deal that is likely to be worth about $9 million a year. Pavano had originally been seeking a three-year deal when he hit the free agent market in October, but apparently couldn’t muster that on the open market. As good as Pavano has been the past two years, the stain of his four years with the New York Yankees on his resume may have scared off the big-market teams willing to tack on an extra year.
All things considered, the deal is very good for both sides. Minnesota desperately needed a reliable arm to log innings at the front-end of their rotation with some brittle arms in Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker coming back from injuries and a depleted bullpen. For Pavano, he gets to remain in a comfortable situation with a manager who protects his pitcher at all costs.
The Twins appear to be approaching the upward limit of their payroll at this point, with perhaps just enough money to bring back Jim Thome for their bench or add another bench player to take his place. It will take some creativity from general manager Bill Smith through trading to improve the Twins any more before spring training.
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Written by TS