Soon-to-be 35-year-old Carl Pavano will be best remembered as a bust in New York, but the seasoned veteran has moved past that chapter by putting up a pair of strong years with the Indians and Twins. After signing a one-year contract prior to 2009 and a one-year contract prior to 2010, Pavano is a free agent again, and this time he's looking to cash in on a multi-year contract. And as the best remaining available pitcher after Cliff Lee, things seem to be in his favor.
According to Jon Heyman, the Nationals and Twins are two teams who are keeping a close eye on Pavano, and Heyman notes that there are at least two others as well. It makes sense; the Twins will have a precisely Pavano-sized hole to fill in their rotation, and the Nationals aren't going to be able to sign Lee despite their interest. And as for the 2+ other teams, all that needs to be said is that there's never enough pitching to go around.
Interestingly, Bill Ladson notes that the Nationals aren't wild about the idea of giving Pavano a multi-year contract, and that this could take them out of the running, but Pavano seems to have put his checkered past behind him, and the Nationals could always change their mind. They would be an excellent fit.
What happens with Pavano remains to be seen, but things could all happen in a hurry. A year ago, Pavano started 32 games, posting a 3.75 ERA with just 37 walks over 221 innings. He'd fit in the middle of any team's starting rotation.
One factor that could drive Pavano's price down is that he's a Type A free agent, and the team that signs him will have to surrender a high draft pick.