Twins finally reach two-year, $16.5M pact with Pavano

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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.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”