Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Pavano Dilemna

I'm going to run short excerpts from the upcoming TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook e-book all week. Why? Because you can pre-order it this week, and only this week. Pre-ordering has significant benefits, as you can see below...

Oooh, the plot thickens. Carl Pavano is a Type A free agent, and that adds a whole new level of intrigue.

One could make a decent argument that Pavano is the second best starting pitcher on the free agent market behind Cliff Lee, especially for a contending team. So, after years of rebuilding his reputation from the Bronx disaster, he should be in demand. He’s at least a ten million per year pitcher.

However, he’s 34 years old and turns 35 in January. Despite pitching 420 innings over the last two years, his time in New York has earned him a reputation as soft. His 3.75 ERA this year is totally out of line with anything he’s done since 2004. I’m not certain the market gives a player like that a three-year deal.

If the Twins offer him arbitration and he turns it down, things get even dicier for him. Is he significantly better than Javier Vazquez, Jon Garland, Ted Lilly or Bronson Arroyo? If not, why wouldn’t a team just sign one of those other guys and keep the first round draft pick they would need to surrender to the Twins?

So if the Twins offer him arbitration, there is a chance he takes it, just like last year. Last year, that was fine, as his arbitration value was around $7M and the Twins had $30M to spend. This year he would demand closer to $10M and the Twins might only have $18M to spend. Can they risk that much on Pavano when it might mean not getting back JJ Hardy or one of their closers?

In one way, this is good news for the Twins. After all, there are plenty of other teams that would love to sign Pavano to a one-year $10M contract, but his Type A status essentially gives the Twins the inside track on that. But if the Twins decide they can’t afford him, they’re likely going to lose their most consistent starting pitcher for nothing.

That's part of a 1500-word essay on the Twins free agents in the TwinsCentric Offseason Handbook e-book. If you're a regular reader, please take a look at pre-ordering it. I think you'll really like it, and in a couple of weeks, you're going to be reading all kinds of testimonies telling you how much you'll like it. But if you buy it this week, you get it a week early with bonus content AND (if you're one of the first 500 pre-orders) for just $4.95 instead of $9.95.

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Paul said...

Is there any reason they can't offer him arbitration and then trade him if he accepts and they can't afford him?

Jack Ungerleider said...

I'll second Paul's question. But phrase it this way: Is this the year "sign and trade" comes to MLB?

Sign and trade has been around the NBA for a long time. So let's take a scenario like this: A team with the $10M to spend on Pavano contacts the Twins and says if the Twins resign Pavano the other team would be willing to trade for him. Is this collusion? Is it different if the Twins simply offer him a 1 year deal and he accepts it, as opposed to arbitration?

If your the Twins, and you have an idea about the market for Pavano, do you offer arbitration and if he accepts you then contact the teams that were known to be interested and offer some sort of deal. Some teams may be willing to part with a couple of mid-level prospects that they aren't sure about over a draft pick. It's not the same value for the Twins, but at least it something.

John said...

I think the answer is "no", but I don't know why that's the answer. I'll see if I can find out.

John said...

Let me be clearer: I don't think you can do that with a free agent. I don't think you can offer a free agent arbitration, have them accept it, and then trade him. I certainly can't remember that ever happening in MLB. But I'm trying to check on that.

Anonymous said...

Joe Mauer is the current version of Greg Maddox: somebody who will put up hall of fame numbers but never lead his team to a championship.

Anonymous said...

The title of the post is "The Pavano Dilemma". It talks about Pavano and arbitration. What the heck it has to do with Joe Mauer?

USAFChief said...

Can you post how to download the TwinsCentric primer? I bought and paid for it, but can't figure out how to download it. Thanks

John said...

USAChief, send me an email at john@Bonnes.com. And everyone else, I received confirmation that they could only trade Pavano if he agreed to it if he accepted arbitration.

JK said...

Soriano, RP Braves, accepted Arb and was then traded to the Rays. I believe this requires the consent of the traded player during the offseason, but would be allowed after a certain point in-season.

jesse said...

Pretty sure JK is right. There was talk about this kind of thing before the '09 season when guys like Juan Cruz were on the market.

The in-season deadline is June 15.

Anonymous said...

Re Anonymous @10:38

Considering Maddux does have a World Series Ring (95 Braves - where he pitched a 2 hit complete game 1), I'd be ok if Mauer leads the Twins to that kind of success.

Jack Ungerleider said...

Thanks to everyone who looked into the "sign and trade" angle. What it sounds like is that if a "three way" deal was worked out Twins/Pavano/Some other team, that it could be done. The question is how much discussion of such a thing is allowed under the CBA? I would think the MLBPA wouldn't care so much if the player's salary was maximized.