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.

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