So this new $39.95m pitcher we've got...
He goes by the name of Carl, and he used to pitch for the Florida Marlins before taking a wheelbarrow full of cash and signing for the New York Yankees. Can Carl Pavano be of any value to the 2007 New York Yankees?
Well let me tell you a very unexciting antidote.
Last Saturday morning I was up in a fantasy league draft. With 12 keepers already set (16 teams) and 4 mL keepers set for each team, 240 players were already taken. It was pick 111 of the draft so depth wise it was the 351st pick overall and yes, I took Pavano much to the amusement of the league in general.
On my depth chart he'll start as my final pitcher (Dice-K, Wang, Millwood, Westbrook, Olsen, Wolf, Pavano) and don't worry, I know my rotation isn't special but I do have a kick arse offense but it goes to show that the expectations for Pavano are very low, both in the terms of fantasy baseball and in the real world.
With a top three set of Wang, Mussina and Pettitte, the Yankees with their offense only need solid numbers from Pavano. I was arguing with Neil H yesterday about Beckett and how he should be doing better for a #2 pitcher, but Pavano needs only to give the Yankees innings and to give them a chance to win games, he isn't expected to dominate the opposition coming off the years he had.
Carl Pavano is a good pitcher, his problem is now a mental one, every little niggle and he wants to shut it down. Most players play hurt for vast amounts of the season, he needs to get over this and start paying back some of the money he's taken off the Yankees over the past two years.
He came to New York because he wanted to be a Yankee (he even turned down more money elsewhere to sign for the Yankees) and he knows he owes the club and the fans. It wouldn't shock me if Pavano ends the season in the NL after being replaced by Philip Hughes or Roger Clemens in the rotation but for both himself and the club, Pavano needs to start showing that he can pitch and pitch effectively, his career depends on it.