Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Carl Pavano and Minnesota Twins come to terms

By Mike Moritz

Before I start: sorry for some font size mess-ups in this post.

Yesterday in the late afternoon, Carl Pavano and the Minnesota Twins agreed to a deal that would keep Pavano in the Twin-City for at least two more seasons. The 2-year deal pays him a total of $16.5 million ($8 million in year one and $8.5 million in year two) and can he can earn up to $500K in incentives. It is definitely no surprise that Pavano would return to the Twins and has been imminent in the past month. The Twins are already coping with loss of about half their bullpen: losing Jesse Crain to the division rival White SoxMatt Guerrier went to the DodgersBrian Fuentes to the Athletics; and Jon Rauch to the Blue Jays so the re-signing of Pavano, I suppose, is significant. 

Pavano really got his career back on track when he was traded from the Indians to the Twins mid-way through 2009. With Cleveland in 2009, Pavano posted a sub-par 5.37 ERA in 125.2 innings before being shipped over to the Twins in which he improved to a 4.64 ERA in 73.2 innings. He then turned in a standout season in 2010 in which he posted a 3.75 ERA, logged 221 innings, .98 HR/9 and a 51.2 ground ball rate in what was arguably his best season of his career according to his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in which he held a 3.2 WAR last season (2004 (4.4 WAR) is his best and 2009 (surprisingly) (3.7 WAR) is comparable). Pavano pitched seven complete games which was tied for first with Cliff Lee for the major leagues.

I like this signing because, pending injury, we know that Pavano can pitch pretty deep into games which should help this re-tooling bullpen out. 

As for Pavano, what I do not really like about Pavano is...well, most things. His strike out numbers dropped off by a scary amount last year from 6.63 K/9 in 2009 to 4.76 in 2010. Pavano's FIP and xFIP were 4.02 and 4.01, respectively. His BABIP was .286 in 2010 and .308 for his career. Along with that, his line drive, ground ball and fly ball rates were all better than his career average:


Observe how his 2009 numbers are around his career mark. He thus turned in an average season for his career and fairly relative to his age at the time. Last year, on the other hand, you can see how his numbers are a little "off", for the better though.
Wow, what an amazing mustache, there is no doubt that it was the secret to Carl Pavano's success in 2010. He looks like W.B. Mason.

And although he improved this year, it seems like maybe he should progress even more, that would be the case if he was 28 or younger. But he recently turn 35 years old and I highly doubt that he can play at this type of level again next year. 

I say around a 4.15 ERA with 130 strikeouts in about 200 innings and maybe about 2-3 BB/9 and about a 4.25 FIP.

The Yankees considered making a run at Pavano but I do not really need to explain why it was a good choice not to seeing what he did (or didn't do) for the Yanks in his New York stint from 2005 to 2008. 

Honestly, I do not know what I would do if the Yankees even offered him a contract. Good luck to him though! He just better stir clear from New York for the pre-trade deadline part of the season.

I have decided to add a new feature to the blog: a poll of the day. It is actually not really the poll of the DAY because I will not be changing the poll everyday, more like every few days. The poll is the first piece on the right hand column.Cast your vote! 

(Stats in courtesy of: http://www.baseball-reference.com and fangraphs.com)       

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