From the Archives: Carl Pavano's Yankee Legacy
Minnesota Twins' starter Carl Pavano has shut down the Yankees through four innings tonight. Pavano was on the Yankee payroll from 2005-08, but the team probably won't be retiring his number. Last year, Ethan Trex included the pitcher in his list of people who earned very big paychecks for very little work. Here's a look back at Pavano's rocky tenure in the Bronx, which explains why Yankee fans (like me) can't believe he's throwing a one-hitter right now.
When a professional baseball player signs a new deal, he's pretty much guaranteed to pull in the cash regardless of whether or not he plays. If you want proof, just mention the name Carl Pavano to New York Yankees fans and watch as their faces contort in terror. After an early stint in Montreal and three fairly strong seasons in Florida, Pavano signed a four-year contract worth $39.95 million with the Yankees before the 2005 season. He then got injured. Frequently. The pitcher's ill-fated tenure in the Bronx included pretty standard baseball injuries like an elbow strain and some problems with his throwing shoulder, but he also had some booboos that made Yankees fans wonder if he might be cursed, including two broken ribs in a car crash and a disabled-list trip for bruised buttocks. In all, the Yankees shelled out that $39.95 million for Pavano to make 26 starts over the four-year span. To make matters worse, on the rare occasions when Pavano was healthy he wasn't very good at baseball. His best season with the Yankees saw him compile a 4.77 ERA and allow 1.47 baserunners per inning he pitched. Even Mike Hampton, baseball's other pricy-but-fragile starter, has to shake his head at those numbers.
Continue Reading: Money for (Practically) Nothing: 4 Very Big Paychecks for Very Little Work