Twins closing in on two-year contract with Carl Pavano

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According to Ken Rosenthal of, the Twins are nearing agreement on a contract with free agent right-hander Carl Pavano and it might be for only two years.

Pavano was thought to be on the hunt for a three-year deal pretty much all winter and might have landed one from a non-contender like the Nationals or Pirates, but he has opted instead to stay with 2010 American League Central champs.

The 34-year-old — actually, 35 just two days from now — posted a solid 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 32 starts last season, earning a 17-11 record while striking out 117 batters and walking only 37 over 221 innings of work.

His numbers should remain excellent with another year inside of the new and critically acclaimed Target Field, which held home runs better than any other park in the majors last year with its high walls and deep dimensions.

The Twins are surely glad to have him back, especially at what appears to be a discount in total years.  The financial details may present a different story, but paying a big salary over two seasons is quite a bit different than paying that same salary over three seasons.  This is a victory for the Minnesota faithful.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.