The Star-Tribune's Joe Christensen broke the news less than two hours ago that the Twins had acquired 33 year old veteran starting pitcher Carl Pavano from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for the ever-popular Player to be Named Later. On the surface, it seems like a ho-hum move, and it probably is. Very few big trades happen after the July 31st trade deadline. 

Carl Pavano is best known for having a very good year with the Marlins in 2004 (18-8, 3.00 ERA) and turning it into a lucrative, four year deal worth $40 million. He then pitched in just 26 games for the Yankees due to various arm injuries, including missing the entire 2006 season after having Tommy John surgery.
That contract ended after last season, and he signed a one year, incentive-laden contract with Cleveland. If you look at his raw numbers, it isn't an exciting move. he is 9-8 with a 5.37 ERA. That ERA is better than Francisco Liriano's (5.63) and Glen Perkins' (5.95). So there alone is your justification for making this move. Of course, as is the case with any trade, who the Player to be Named Later is is a crucial bit of information in giving final approval of a trade's success. 

But again, I wanted to look at some other numbers that some might find interesting. And no, I'm not going to dive into all of those highly advanced statistical metrics that not very many people (myself included) understand. Check out these numbers, and then in the comments, feel free to add your own:

  • If you take away Pavano's April, in which he went 0-4 with a 9.50 ERA, he has been solid. He has been 9-4 with a 4.68 ERA since the calendar turned to May.
  • He needs to find a way to get the first batter out in innings. Batters leading off an inning are hitting .429/.429/.524 against him.
  • Like the Twins really like, Pavano has walked just 23 batters in 125.2 innings this year.
  • Against the Detroit Tigers this season, he has gone 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA. In 23.1 innings, he has given up just 18 hits and one walk.
  • Against the White Sox, he has gone 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA. In 22.1 innings, he allowed 18 hits and walked two.
  • (We'll barely mention that he is 1-2 with an 8.64 ERA in three starts against the Royals, though!)
  • Should the Twins make the playoffs, it is likely their first-round opponent would come from the AL East. Against the Yankees this year, Pavano is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts and 13.1 innings. Against the Red Sox, he went six innings and gave up two runs in a win.
  • In his big league career, which started with the Marlins in 1998, he has made just one start in the Metrodome. In that game, he gave up two runs on six hits (no walks) in seven innings.
  • And, there is some familiarity with Pavano. Mike Redmond caught him 22 times when they were teammates in Florida.
  • If you look at his monthly splits over his career, his best months have been August and September.
As with any trade that happens, whether at the July 31st deadline or in August, you never know what the results will be. You hope for lightning in a bottle. The Twins and their fans hope that Orlando Cabrera can continue to play as he has through his first five games with the Twins. And you hope now that Carl Pavano can step in and put together a great nine or ten start stretch and help propel the Twins into the playoffs. We can all hope that whichever starter, likely Francisco Liriano, is sent to the bullpen can dominate for the rest of the season in his new role.  

Hopefully these moves are enough to quiet the suddenly Torii Hunter-like Justin Morneau and get him to stop bashing his teammates. Hopefully this is enough to push the Twins to success and make Joe Mauer willing to stay. Hopefully Joe Nathan will be happy and keep pitching well. Why? Because no matter who the Twins bring in, it is going to be those three players who will determine the Twins level of success over the season's final eight weeks and beyond. 


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