The votes have been counted, and the results for the estimate of Carl Pavano‘s contract this winter are in. First, the data:
Average length: 2.55
Average salary: $9.57 million
Median length: 3 years
Median salary: $9 million
Standard deviation, length: 0.72 years
Standard deviation, salary: $2.80 million
The length of the deal seems to be nearly a lock. Forty three percent of the voters picked two years, with 46 percent going for three years. People think that Pavano’s performance and durability the last two years will earn him a multi-year contract, but his prior injury problems will keep him from getting a long term commitment – seems logical. The split between the two year and three year crowd cries out for some kind of vesting third year option, I would think. Pavano seems to be the perfect kind of pitcher for a deal that guarantees him a third year based on a total number of innings pitched in the second year.
There was a wider range of selection on the per year salary, as expected. Ten million per year was actually the most popular choice, with 22 percent of the votes tallied. Eight million per year was just behind at 21 percent, however, with the median of $9 million coming in third at 17 percent. Even though the $8 to $10 million range was where the most votes went, 40 percent of voters picked something outside that range.
Personally, I think the median is just about right. Pavano is pretty comparable to Joel Pineiro in a lot of ways, as they have the same basic skillset of throwing strikes and getting groundballs. Pavano gets a boost for pitching in the AL while he gets dinged for his long list of injury problems. Pineiro was met with a lot of yawns when he became available last year, and ended up signing a 2 year, $16 million deal with the Angels that ended being one of the better signings of the winter.
Given that Pavano is likely to be a Type A free agent, I can’t see him getting significantly more than what Pineiro got a year ago. Something in that 2/18 range with a vesting option for a third year sounds like a logical landing place to me. If he sustains his performance from the last two years, that will be a bargain. There’s always risks with pitchers, though, and he’s a higher risk arm than most.
It will be interesting to see what the market for him plays out as. I think, in the end, the results from this will be pretty close to what he actually gets.