Twins trade for Carl Pavano

Posted on August 7th, 2009 – 10:36 AM
By Joe Christensen

DETROIT — The Twins have acquired starting pitcher Carl Pavano from Cleveland for a player to be named.

R.A. Dickey was optioned to Class AAA Rochester making room on the Twins’ 25-man roster, and Boof Bonser has been moved to the 60-day disabled list, clearing room on the 40-man roster.

Pavano, 33, has gone 9-8 with a 5.37 ERA this season in 21 starts for Cleveland. It’s been an up-and-down year for him, but he is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA against the first-place Tigers.

No word on whether the Twins plan to give Pavano a start in this weekend’s series in Detroit, but he held the Tigers to one run over eight innings last Sunday.

The Twins acquired shortstop Orlando Cabrera from Oakland but failed to acquire a pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Pavano had to be place on waivers for the Twins to get him.

Pavano has a one-year, $1.5 million contract, so with one-third of the season remaining, the Twins will be on the hook for about $500,000 of that. Pavano also has begun reaching incentives that pay him for his number of starts and innings pitched.

Pavano has pitched six or more innings in 14 of his 21 starts. The Twins were looking for a veteran innings eater. Twins starter Kevin Slowey underwent season-ending surgery on his right wrist this week, and the Twins have been debating Francisco Liriano’s future in the starting rotation.

Liriano is 4-11 with a 5.63 ERA, and Glen Perkins, who is scheduled to pitch Saturday against Detroit, is 6-7 with a 5.95 ERA.

Pavano, who made his major league debut with Montreal in 1998, was an All-Star with Florida in 2004, when he went 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA. That fall, he signed a four-year deal with the Yankees for just under $40 million, but he wound up winning just nine games over the length of that contract, missing the 2006 season with injuries.

Pavano signed with the Indians as a free agent in January. On Thursday, Indians owner Larry Dolan said his club is on pace to lose $16 million this season, saying attendance will fall 500,000 short of projections.

Pavano’s incentives began kicking in with his 18th start ($100,000 for No. 18, No. 20 and No. 22). He will make $200,000 for starts No. 24, 26 and 28, then $250,000 for his 30th start and $300,000 for his 32nd start.

Pavano has pitched 125 2/3 innings, which would rank him third on the Twins behind Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker. Pavano has given up 150 hits and 23 walks, while notching 88 strikeouts.

Pavano will collect $100,000 once he reaches 130 innings pitched, along with 140 and 150. Then, he’ll make $150,000 for 160 and 170, and $200,000 for 180.

Note: Much more on this later from Comerica Park. Check back later this afternoon for tonight’s starting lineups.

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