Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Official: Pavano returns to the Twins

I’ve already submitted my assessment on what to expect from Pavano in the coming year, so his recent two-year, $16.5 million signing is no surprise. What is sort of interesting is some of the contractual stipulations.

According to Cot’s Contracts in addition to the $8 million he will make in 2011 and the $8.5 million in 2012, Pavano will receive $100,000 for hitting 190 and 200 innings in a season plus another $150,000 for exploring the 210 and 220 inning territory respectively.

Obviously this sort of performance clause is placed as a small incentivizer to ensure that he does maintain that current output. The Twins are signing him as their innings-eater to alleviate the need to strain the bullpen – a unit that is currently untested outside of recently re-signed Matt Capps and Jose Mijares. This small percentage of his overall payday provides a half million extra if he can work approximately six or more innings per start over the course of 32 starts, something that he has managed to do in the past two seasons.

The other stipulation within the new contract is that the Twins have agreed to not offer him arbitration after the 2012 season. This means that if Pavano, over the duration of the new contract, equals his performance of 2009-2010 and reaches Type A status again, the Twins will not hamper his marketability by attaching the need to forfeit a draft pick. Likewise, this will not put the organization in the unenviable position of having to offer him arbitration which he would likely happily accept at 37 years old. It basically acts as prearranged mutual breakup at the end of the contract.  

In the end, the Twins have landed a very good pitcher, capable of eating innings and providing a stabilizing force in the rotation during a time of tumultuousness uncertainty in the bullpen.