As of a couple months ago Carl Pavano was trying to make a comeback after missing all of last season following a gruesome home accident in which he suffered a ruptured spleen, but now he’s ready to call it a career.
Pavano’s agent told Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors that the 38-year-old right-hander is retiring after 14 seasons in the majors, issuing the following statement:
Despite my strong desire to compete and hard work in preparing for the upcoming season I feel that the amount of time lost from my spleen injury, coupled with the recovery from my complications from that injury, preclude me from continuing to compete at my highest level, which is necessary to perform in the major leagues.
Pavano will probably forever be a punchline in New York for his injury-filled Yankees tenure, but he had a handful of very good seasons for the Marlins and Twins. He made an All-Star team in 2004, topped 200 innings four times, made 10 postseason appearances with a 2.51 ERA, was once traded for Pedro Martinez, and earned more than $70 million.
The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.
The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.