Finally, according to Ken Davidoff of Newsday, the Twins have officially reached agreement with right-hander Carl Pavano.
It was reported almost 13 days ago that the two sides had reached a compromise on a two-year contract, but it took another few meetings for all of the financial terms to be worked out.
Pavano will earn $8 million in 2011 and $8.5 million in 2012, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. There is another $500,000 available via performance-based incentives.
That’s a large investment for a 35-year-old starter, but Pavano finished with a strong 17-11 record, 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 32 starts last season and should be able to come close to those numbers over the next two seasons while making half of his appearances inside Target Field, which is looking like one of the more pitcher-friendly ballparks in all of the major leagues.
The Twins did well to refrain from rushing in with a three-year offer when the offseason began and their patience was eventually rewarded. Now they have a key piece of their 2010 division-winning squad back in uniform at a fairly reasonable contract length and price. If age catches up to Pavano this year or next year and it simply doesn’t work out, he’ll be off the books before you can say Minnetonka.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.
The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.
Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.
As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.