Twins closing in on two-year contract with Carl Pavano

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According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, 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.

Padres acquire Phil Hughes from Twins

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Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.

Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.

Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.

The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.