Update: According to Sweeny Murti of WFAN The Yankees actually made a one-year offer worth $10 million plus incentives, but Pavano took the Twins two-year deal instead.
Original post: Via Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
Yankees GM 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 to ’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 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.
Wow, I really didn’t expect Cashman to get this desperate, but the truth is that after Cliff Lee Pavano was the best free agent pitcher this offseason. A lot of Yankees fans don’t like Pavano, are not going to like that I even called him the next best pitcher after Lee, and the booing would have been worse than it was with Javier Vazquez last season.
Cashman’s job is to put the best product on the field he can to win games and that sometimes means ignoring what the fans want as they can easily be blinded by emotion. But again, it is surprising to hear that he even explored this possibility because of the vitriol Pavano inspires in the Bronx.
Especially with Cashman’s contract up at the end of the year. If he had signed Pavano, he would have created a situation where he would have alienated a lot of fans who would be calling for his head next offseason.
What do you think? With the Yankees very thin rotation, would signing Pavano have been the right move? Or was Cashman crazy for even considering it?