MINNEAPOLIS MN - OCTOBER 7: Carl Pavano #48 of the Minnesota Twins pitches during game two of the ALDS game against the New York Yankees on October 7 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Twins Bring Carl Pavano Back Into Fold On Two-Year Contract

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Carl Pavano Returning To Twins On Two-Year Contract

At last, it's official: according to Bob Nightengale, veteran free agent Carl Pavano has signed a two-year contract to return to the Twins.

The Twins were reported to be on the verge of re-signing Pavano two weeks ago, but it took some time to get everything finalized. Additionally, the Twins were a little preoccupied with re-signing Jim Thome and working out deals with some arbitration-eligible players.

Pavano - who earned $7 million a year ago - will make $16.5 million over the next two seasons, with incentives that could add an additional $500,000. He stands to earn $100,000 in 2012 if he reaches 190 and 200 innings this year, and he stands to earn $150,000 if he reaches 210 and 220. They work cumulatively, in that, if Pavano throws 220+ innings, he will earn the total $500,000.

The 35-year-old Pavano will re-join Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker at the front of the Minnesota rotation. He posted a 3.75 ERA over 221 innings last season, and while his strikeout rate tumbled from its 2009 mark, he still threw plenty of strikes and took advantage of Target Field's forgiving nature. He should remain a capable middle-of-the-rotation starter going forward.

Pavano settled on the Twins after being pursued by a number of suitors along the way, including the Brewers, Nationals, Pirates, Yankees, and Rangers. For more on the signing, be sure to check out Twinkie Town.


Carl Pavano, Twins Nearing Two-Year Contract Agreement

After entering the offseason as arguably the second-best available free agent starting pitcher, the Carl Pavano rumors have flown around at a steady pace. The veteran has been tied most strongly to the Twins, the Nationals, the Pirates, and the Brewers, with a few other teams hanging out on the periphery. Despite so many other teams having interest, though, it was believed from day one that Pavano's best fit would be re-signing with the Twins, and sure enough, that seems to be the outcome of all this.

According to Ken Rosenthal, Pavano and the Twins are nearing a contract agreement believed to be two years in length. Pavano has been seeking a three-year contract, comparable to those signed by Ted Lilly and Jorge de la Rosa, but Minnesota is a good, familiar environment for him, and it seems he may be making a concession.

Pavano - who turns 35 in two days - has spent the last year and a half with the Twins, eating up innings and further distancing himself from his previous disaster with the Yankees. Last season, over 32 starts, he posted a 3.75 ERA while throwing 221 innings, and by getting him re-signed, the Twins fill a rotation hole behind Francisco Liriano. While Pavano is no spring chicken, he's still able to pound the strike zone, and as long as he's able to maintain his command, he'll be effective.

Check out more over at Twinkie Town.


Carl Pavano Sweepstakes Narrow Down After Zack Greinke Trade

Sunday's Zack Greinke trade changes a lot of things. It pushes the Royals a little further from contention. It pushes the Brewers a good deal closer. It reduces the Cardinals' odds of making the playoffs. It reduces the Reds' odds of making the playoffs. It gives Philadelphia and San Francisco some competition in the starting pitching department.

And it also changes things for free agent Carl Pavano. The Brewers were previously serious about Pavano as they sought out help for their starting rotation. But the Greinke trade closes that door, as they're no longer a good fit.

Which means Pavano is now left with the Twins as his primary suitor. Minnesota, though, isn't the only team who'll be looking to bring him in. The Nationals missed out on Greinke and the Rangers missed out on both Greinke and Cliff Lee, so one can expect both of them to make a run at the free agent starter.

So the Twins will have some competition, from at least two teams, and possibly more than that. Pavano is now probably the best remaining pitcher available, and he's seeking a three-year contract similar to those signed already this offseason by Ted Lilly and Jorge de la Rosa.


Carl Pavano Involved With Brewers, Twins In Free Agency Talks

Cliff Lee is the best available free agent starting pitcher, and he's drawing an appropriate level of attention. We're also hearing a lot of Zack Greinke trade rumors, as the Royals are listening to offers for their ace, and he's the other number one pitcher on the market.

But the second-best remaining free agent starter is Carl Pavano, and while Lee and Greinke are dominating headlines, Pavano is quietly making progress in talks of his own. Jerry Crasnick reports that the Twins are stepping up their efforts to re-sign the veteran starter, while Ken Rosenthal states that the Brewers are also serious.

The Twins would love to have Pavano back, as he excelled with Minnesota in 2010 and would slide back in behind Francisco Liriano in the rotation. The Brewers, meanwhile, have addressed their pitching shortage by trading for Shaun Marcum, but still want help in the rotation, and Pavano would make for an excellent third starter.

The Nationals are known to have some interest in Pavano, but their attention seems to have been focused mainly on Lee and Greinke. They could still re-emerge as a strong candidate.

The Twins currently stand out as the favorites to get Pavano to put pen to paper.


Carl Pavano Available, With Nationals, Twins In Mix

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.

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