Suing Carl Pavano

2007 Mock Draft
Memorial Day weekend

pavano.jpg When the news came down on Wednesday that Carl Pavano will have season-ending reconstructive surgery on his elbow, no one really blinked. After two-plus seasons of Pavano’s routine, no one was surprised that Pavano would be missing out on fulfilling the remainder of his four-year deal.

It’s hard to believe that things weren’t always like this. Following the 2004 season when Pavano hit free agency, a bidding war erupted. The Red Sox wanted him; the Tigers wanted him; the Phillies and Rangers were mildly interested. It took recruiting phone calls from the Joe Torre and Derek Jeter to lure Pavano to the Bronx. Fans and players alike acted as though it were a big coup.

Well, $39.95 million and 19 starts later, the Yanks hardly got a return on their investment. Pavano won 5 games for the Yanks. He threw 111.3 innings and had an ERA of 4.77.

Since arriving in New York, Pavano has developed a reputation as a whiner, a complainer and a selfish player. The media and his teammates have questioned his desire to play, and if he comes back from this surgery, you can bet he won’t don the Yankee uniform in 2008. When he becomes a free agent in Nov. 2008, he’ll be lucky to sign an incentive-laden deal with a second-tier team. A Minor League deal and a spring training invite could be all that awaits him.

The Yankees, on the other hand, are probably furious with him. This is money that could have spent elsewhere and on a player who wanted to perform. It is safe to say that Carl Pavano did not live up to the terms of his contract. So I think the Yankees should sue Carl Pavano.

I’m not familiar with the standard player contract for Major League Baseball, and I’m sure the contract as an injury clause in it. But it’s really easy to claim that Carl Pavano did not honor his side of the contract and is in breach.

He was paid $39.95 million to play baseball for four years. Instead, he missed all of 2005 to various maladies including a broken rib sustained in a car accident and will now miss the rest of 2007 and most, if not all, of 2008.

Of course, no team would sue a player, but it would certainly be interesting to see how such a suit would play out. And it would be great revenge just to drag Pavano’s oft-injured ass into court.

Image from Da Bronx Bombers.

2007 Mock Draft
Memorial Day weekend
  • Tom

    MLB contracts are always written heavily in the players favor; unlike the NFL where, if you get hurt, its “nice knowing ya!”

    If the Yankees sued a player, they would have a hard time signing a big time free agent in the future. It sucks, but they have to just chalk this one up as a loss and move on.

    If you believe in karma, Carl will get what’s coming to him.

  • Luddy Bazcej

    I have a sinking feeling he will suddenly find health and the will to play, just after November 2008. I hope the Yankees do get some sort of compensation for this debacle. Jesus what a douche this guy is.

  • Joseph P.

    You know, I’m going to sound like a douche for saying this, but I was all for Pedro over Pavano in November 2004. Now, there was obviously no guarantee that Pedro would have pitched for the Yanks, but even at four years — and even considering the year he’s missed/missing — he’d have been a much better value than Pavano.

  • NJ Lawyer

    There have been medical diagnoses for Pavano’s various ailments. Consequently, the Yankees have no legal basis to sue for breach of contract.

    btw, I wanted Pedro too.

  • Sam

    Wow, you have to be completely naive and out of your mind to even suggest that Yankees sue Pavano. I understand you are frustrated, and so are many Yankee fans, but did you read what Brian Cashman said yesterday?

    ““I had high hopes for Carl to be a stabilizer, a solid No. 3 at worst,” Cashman said. “It just hasn’t happened. The reasons he hasn’t pitched have been physical every step of the way. Those are the facts.””

    This is Brian Cashman stating facts publicly. Yankees can never sue somebody for just being ill during the period of the guaranteed contract. If you were hurt while you were doing your job, and had a guaranteed contract, you would be outraged at the possibility of being sued, and rightfully so.

  • Pat O’Malley – NYC

    No Medical diagnosis’? A ligament tear in your pitching arm (confirmed by four noted physicians/orthopedists, broken ribs, bonechips surgically removed by an orthopedist…sounds like medical diagnosis’ to me? What cracks me up is everyone is acting like this guy is faking! I really don’t think he’s loving the fact that he’s perceived as a joke, the worst free agent signing in the history of baseball, and that he has the support of noone in the clubhouse! He’s had numerous physician opinions, as well as a surgery and one on the way (don’t know too many people that LOVE going under the knife). He had to rehab in a strange city (Tampa) during his stints on the DL,and during the post season 2006 while most players were enjoying vacations and time with their families, he was in Arizona at his own expense working out intensively for 10 weeks. He wasn’t sipping Pina Colada’s in Fiji and working on his golf game. Suck it up NY, you have deep pockets, its about time you learned that money can’t buy you a guarantee on a human being.

  • NJ Lawyer

    There is an issue of whether or not he could avoid TJ surgery if he was willing to pitch with pain, as Pettitte has since 1996, but it appears that competent orthopedic surgeons differ on the preferred course of action. It does, however, increase one’s respect for Pettitte for opting for the course of action that he has chosen.

  • Ben

    PS I’m not seriously advocated actually taking Carl Pavano to court. I’m just expressing displeasure with the way his Yankee tenure has turned out. Some of you took this suggestion a tad bit too literally it seems.

  • FungoJerry

    I think the problem is one of lack of heart and intestinal fortitude on the part of Mr. Pavano. Why else would one such as he go to great lengths to sabatoge his career with the Yankees by breaking his ribs and then trying to conceal it after crashing his expensive sports car into (of all things) a parked truck in Florida!!? Maybe he’d do much better in 2009 if he went to Japan, and signed on as a Kamakazee pilot.