For almost two weeks, there was little doubt in any baseball pundit’s mind that Carl Pavano would be signing with the Minnesota Twins. The two sides finally agreed to terms last night on a two year deal that will guarantee Pavano $16.5 million.
It’s difficult not to look at this as a win for the Twins. Sure, Pavano will be 35 years old before the season starts and despite coming off an above average season, he saw a drop off in his strike out rate, with a career low 4.76 K/9, but he’s never been a big strikeout pitcher, and he also raised his out of zone contact rate and ground ball rate last season too. To me, this suggests that Pavano has adjusted his approach well for an older pitcher, focusing on forcing batters to make contact on bad pitches that lead to ground balls.
With the notable exception of Brian Cashman, we all remember Pavano’s series of injuries with the Yankees, but a two year contract paying less than what several people anticipated will never seem like an albatross to the Twins. On the upside Minnesota brings back a key member of their AL Central winning rotation from last year, who ate up more than 220 innings, inducing ground balls and taking advantage of the Twins’ defensively gifted infield.
Tweets Of The Day
New York Mets starter R. A. Dickey took some time out of his offseason regime to answer questions on Twitter, and this is probably the most interesting:
I do enjoy Faulkner. Hands down Absalom Absalom! RT@stovewithahouse @rivkin Do you enjoy Faulkner & if so what’s ur favorite work of his?
I like to imagine that @stovewithahouse and @rivkin were trying to make Dickey look foolish, whose last name has been doing a good enough job of that for his entire life, by thinking that a baseball player wouldn’t know Dickey about the literary cannon.
But before baseball nerds with English degrees start deifying Dickey as a literary god of baseball, let’s remember the false prophet Scott Rolen, who bragged of having Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle on the night stand during his first Spring Training with the Blue Jays. When a reporter asked him what he was reading in August, he replied that he was still on The Jungle, four months later.
And The Rest
From the do we really care file: Jerry Hairston signed with the Nationals, Joe Creed inked a Minor League deal with the Rockies, and the Padres and Chad Qualls have finally come to terms . . . with the fact that they need each other.
What baseball reporter has the best scoops?
The Rays wouldn’t let B. J. Upton use Waka Flocka’s “No Hands” as his walkup music because it’s about Casey Bax strippers and making it rain. I guess all 45 people at Tropicana Field would object.
Omar Vizquel and his historic 20 seasons under 100 OPS+.
Larry Stone writes about how difficult it will be for the Mariners to void Milton Bradley’s contract.
Sticking with Bradley, which is probably what Seattle will be forced to do, Big League Stew presents the angriest collage ever not made by an angst ridden fourteen year old living in the suburbs.
According to a blogger, MLB is currently hiring. All you really have to do is be willing to work in Manhattan.
Brian Cashman introduces Rafael Soriano to New York via comic strip.
Jerry Crasnick rehashes Matt Anderson’s octopus story.
Shawn Green must have had a lot of time to jot down his thoughts while being benched by Cito Gaston in Toronto. His new book comes out this summer.
Your Blue Jays fan of the day: Rex Ryan.
When you put it that way, the Verducci Effect just sounds stupid.
Justin Duchscherer is holding private workouts for a couple of teams. No word on whether or not he’s wearing leg warmers.
Finally, Hardball Talk points us in the direction of this hilarity from The Onion’s Sportsdome: