Carl Pavano and his agent smartly let Cliff Lee sign before making their move, setting him up as the top free agent starter on the market. However, that took place two weeks ago and Pavano still hasn’t made a decision despite interest from multiple teams.
Minnesota and Washington (and previously Milwaukee) have been linked to Pavano, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe adds Texas and Seattle to the list. Presumably any team seriously interested in Pavano has offered him a two-year deal, but according to Cafardo he’s holding out for a three-year contract.
Pavano hasn’t missed a start in two seasons and went 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA and fantastic 117/37 K/BB ratio in 221 innings for the Twins this year, but at age 35 and with his extensive injury history a three-year commitment would be an extremely risky move by a team truly desperate for rotation help. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone caves.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.