It would have been tough for Carl Pavano’s four-year stay in New York to go any worse and he’s one of the most hated players in Yankees history, yet after missing out on Cliff Lee general manager Brian Cashman offered him a one-year deal to return.
Even more surprising? Pavano told Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he gave serious thought to another stint in New York.
Ultimately there wasn’t much of a decision to be made, as the Twins offered him a two-year, $16.5 million deal while the Yankees’ offer was reportedly for one season and $10 million, but had Minnesota not stepped up their pursuit Pavano seems to think he would have been fine in New York and New York would have been fine with him. Well, maybe:
I don’t think [the past] would be a hindrance, but there would have definitely been obstacles. I’m not naïve enough to think that there wouldn’t have been things I would have had to overcome, especially the trust of the fans and maybe some of the guys that were there [when I was]. That’s reality.
I’m sure Yankees fans would eventually have warmed up to Pavano, at least somewhat, had he come out of the gates with a 2.50 ERA through two months or something, but short of that it likely wouldn’t have been pretty. He’d have been booed by the home crowd from the moment he stepped on the mound at Yankee Stadium, every bad inning would have been treated like a disaster, any injury would have been endlessly lampooned, and the “American Idle” nickname would have been constantly plastered all over newspapers.
Could he have overcome all that to have a solid season? Maybe, but I can’t imagine the Yankees or Pavano actually wanting to find out.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.