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.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.