Sunday, December 12, 2004

Pavano joins the Evil Empire

Sunday morning, and the rumors are flying fast and furious around the lobby in Anaheim. Wright to the Yankees.. and then oops! Nevermind, he failed his physical, and then, nevermind again, he passed another one. He's back even though he never left. But in the downtime between Wright failing his first physical and passing his second, the Yankees managed a coup by scooping Carl Pavano out from under the Red Sox, Tigers and Orioles. (get it? Coup and scoup in the same sentence? Ok, ok, i'm sorry...)

So, Pavano to the Yankees. [One question about this: Was there ever any question where this guy was going? I think this whole Carl-a-palooza thing was just an excuse to get some free dinners.] This isn't any kind of suprise, but there is some question as to how good he'll be, not only in the American League, but in the AL East. He had an outstanding season last year, but it's up for debate how his stats will translate to the junior circuit. Pavano's K/9 have been dropping for the last three seasons, though not dramatically, and his K/BB ratio has been increasing over that same time period. So he isn't striking as many guys out as he was, but he is walking even fewer. Basically, the guy isn't Roger Clemens, but then he's not Casey Fossum either.

If you look at the money the Yankees gave him (a reported 4 year deal for $38 Million), they might be overpaying a little bit. Consider the guy has a losing record over his career. But if after four years he has managed to average 15 wins a year, a very likely scenario given the Yankees offense, nobody will think the Yankees got hosed, even if his peripherals aren't what the more statistically minded would like. And when you take the crazy money that's been throw around by the Diamondbacks and the Mets this almost looks like a bargain. Granted there are not two more incompetantly run organizations than the Diamondbacks and the Mets, but they've driven up the market prices for starters with their collective idiocy, so in that light this doesn't look too much like overpaying.

Adding Pavano probably isn't going to put the Yankees over the top in the American League, but it won't hurt. If it doesn't turn out like NY wants it to, then they'll just fire up the ol' printing press, make some more money and grab someone else next year. In truth, they're likely to do this one way or the other.

With the signing of Pavano, the Yankees do improve their rotation, but how much? Well, I suppose that depends on who Pavano replaces from last year. I'm guessing that when all is said and done he'll end up replacing Kevin Brown, who was thought to be the Yankees number two or three going into last season. For now the Yankee rotation looks like this:

1. Mussina
2. Pavano
3. Wright
4. Vazquez (yes, as of now he's the number 4 guy)
5. Brown

Thats not half bad, and if they are able to pull off a trade for Randy Johnson then their rotation will officially go from good to scary.

For a Red Sox blog, this is a lot of talk about another team, but when you are a Red Sox fan that really means you follow two teams, the other being the Yankees. Unless the Orioles pull Tim Hudson out of their hats I don't see much of a change in the AL East. For the forseeable future this division will be won by either Boston or NY.


In other Red Sox news, there have been rumors about the Red Sox signing Edgar Renteria, who's name I'll have to learn how to spell if indeed they ever do ink him. Jason Stark of says that the rumors are a bit over blown and that nothing has been done yet. As soon as I come across something confirming this one way or the other, I'll post it here.

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