Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Twins retain Carl Pavano
Carl Pavano accepted the Twins' arbitration offer Monday, so last August's rotation stabilizer will remain with Minnesota.
This is a better result than some of the rumored alternatives, such as Jarrod Washburn, but, as noted here a couple of days ago, the Twins have no shortage of in-house candidates to fill out their rotation.
The Twins pitching staff is overly crowded. Assuming they go with 12 pitchers again, here's how it shapes up.
Rotation: Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Pavano, (open)
Bullpen: Joe Nathan, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares, Jesse Crain, Jon Rauch, (open), (open)
So three vacancies, one in the rotation, two in the bullpen, and one can reasonably figure that the ideal in the 'pen would be a long man and a LOOGY — a Left-handed One Out GuY.
The Twins have for those three slots some combination of Francisco Liriano, Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins, Pat Neshek, Boof Bonser, Bobby Keppel, Anthony Swarzak and Jeff Manship.
If Neshek is healthy, it's difficult to imagine him not making the team, but there doesn't appear to be an obvious role for him. Bonser and Keppel are out of options; they'd have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors. Swarzak and Manship have to be regarded as longshots to make the team this spring. There's been a lot of friction between Perkins and the organization in the past year.
I don't know how readily two or even three of those arms can be packaged in a trade, but something seems likely to happen between now and spring training, or at least before Opening Day.
Here's something to wrap your brain around:
Placido Polanco, a 34-year-old who hit .285 and won a Gold Glove at second base, will average $6 million a year under his new contract. Marco Scutaro, a 34-year old shortstop who hit .282 and scored 100 runs last season, will get about $6.25 million a year under his.
And Pavano, a 34-year-old pitcher who led the American League in earned runs allowed and was third in all of baseball in runs given up, is expected to wind up with about a $7 million salary next season.
In other developments in the AL Central:
° Detroit re-signed shortstop Adam Everett to a one year deal. Their top two relief pitchers last season, Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney, declined arbitration. They also shuffled LOOGY candidates.
° White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had what appears to have been an amusing presser Monday at the Winter Meetings. (Managers are expected to do a big press conference, complete with transcription, at the meetings; Ron Gardenhire's had been scheduled for Tuesday, but he canceled his trip to Indy with a flu bug.) That might be about all the Sox accomplish this week; as Phil Rogers reports, they haven't much payroll space.