Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dissecting the Bill Smith era: The Pavano trade

Carl Pavano in 2010, when
he went 17-11, 3.75 with a AL-best
seven complete games.
When: August 9, 2009
What: The Twins acquired RHP Carl Pavano from Cleveland in a waiver deal for RHP Yohan Pino
Value: Pavano provided 0.8 WAR after the trade in 2009. He has remained with the Twins on two free-agent contracts and provided 5.5 WAR in 2010 and 2011. He had 7 win shares total in 2009, 15 in 2010 and 9 in 2011. Pino has yet to reach the majors and ended 2011 in the Toronto organization.
Twins motivation: Reinforce the starting rotation.

The Twins were well behind the Detroit Tigers when they traded for Pavano, and their rotation -- particularly Glen Perkins and Francisco Liriano -- was spluttering. Pavano was trying to rebuild his reputation after an injury-riddled three seasons with the Yankees in which he got dubbed "American Idle" by the NYC tabs.

He has been a reliable starter with Minnesota, far more so than I expected -- 12 starts in less than two months in 2009, 32 starts in 2010, 33 starts in 2011. He has one more season to go on his second Twins contract, and I remain stubbornly wary of his declining strikeout rate.

But it has to be said that this trade worked very well for Minnesota. And for Pavano.

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