New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Wednesday that he had “several discussions” with the agent for free-agent right-hander Carl Pavano, who endured four trying seasons in New York from 2005-08.
Pavano, in turn, seriously considered returning to the Yankees, according to major league sources, even telling friends at one point that he intended to rejoin the team.
The Yankees explored a one-year deal with Pavano at a high salary, sources said. The talks fizzled when the Minnesota Twins guaranteed Pavano a second year — an important consideration for a pitcher who is 35.
According to one source, the Pavano camp made frequent contract with the Yankees, expressing a desire for the pitcher to return. The Yankees, though, were mindful of Pavano's history with the team and unwilling to forfeit a first-round draft pick by signing him — a sacrifice they later made for free-agent reliever Rafael Soriano.
Yet, the return of Pavano would not have been completely without logic.
Cashman defended Pavano throughout the pitcher’s injury-filled tenure with the Yankees. Pavano, who has averaged 210 innings the past two seasons, offered durability that the Yankees currently are lacking.
Still, Pavano’s willingness to rejoin the team was surprising. Fans, media and even teammates criticized him heavily during his time in New York. But he was willing to risk such criticism again.
Pavano’s two-year agreement with the Twins is for $16.5 million.
— Ken Rosenthal