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Rockies Still In On Free Agent Pitcher Carl Pavano

I refuse to post the terrible creeper 'stache. I just won't do it.
I refuse to post the terrible creeper 'stache. I just won't do it.

Troy Renck reported today via Twitter that the Rockies are still in on RHP Carl Pavano.

Pavano is infamous for his 4-year stint with the Yankees, where he made just shy of $40M to pitch a total of less than 150 innings. He caught on with Cleveland in 2009 and was traded to the Twins midseason. He resigned with Minnesota and found himself with a new lease on pitching, tossing 221 innings with a 3.75 ERA (4.02 FIP, 4.01 xFIP), striking out 3.16 batters per walk allowed, which tells you a lot about his control when you consider that he struck out a mere 4.76 batters per 9 innings.

Pavano's real strength is his ability to continuously throw strikes and to keep the ball on the ground. For his career, Pavano has thrown to the tune of 46% groundballs, cracking 50% in 2010 in Minnesota (51.2%) on the wings of a low-90s fastball and a bigtime changeup. Pavano also mixes in a slider for good measure.

There are, however, issues with Pavano coming to Colorado. Pavano made $7M with Minnesota in 2010, and is a Type-A free agent this offseason. Given the Rockies' finish, no matter how disappointing, this would require Colorado to surrender their 1st round draft pick to Minnesota. Granted, this will be somewhat mitigated by any picks returning from Jorge De La Rosa (assuming he does in fact sign with another team). In addition to the loss of a pick, Pavano is looking for multiple years, and given his age, it presents far more of a risk from poor aging effects than any other pitching target for the Rockies.

Brandon Warne of Baseball Prospectus has his own warnings about Pavano for potential suitors.

Pavano would not be a bad acquisition for Colorado, but he should be looked at as a fill-in starter while the team waits for Christian Friedrich to reach the majors, and not as the "big acquisition" that's supposed to save the franchise. The Rockies need a starter, and Pavano's a decent one, at least in the short term.