It’s amazing what $39.95 million can buy in these troubled economic times. For their pretty penny, the Yanks got 26 starts and nine wins. That’s just $4.43 million a win. Act now; supplies are going fast.
In a rather inglorious fashion, the Carl Pavano Era in the Bronx likely ended last night when Pavano and a bunch of Yankee farmhands lost to the Blue Jays 8-2. Roy Halladay threw a complete game, giving up six hits and a walk in the process, and if it seemed like the fifth time this year the Yanks have lost to Hallday, well, that’s because it was. Only once did the Yanks beat the AL Cy Young candidate, and that was a way back on Opening Day when Chien-Ming Wang outdueled Halladay.
For Pavano, today was hardly a stellar start in his effort to find himself a job for next year. He lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck out one.
On the season, Pavano made seven starts for the Yanks and has thrown 34.1 innings. He has a 4-2 record with a 5.77 ERA, and he struck out 15 while walking 10. While we’ve debated the merits of picking up Pavano’s option for 2009 to ensure some pitching depth, the truth is that Pavano just hasn’t offered up much. He hasn’t shown much control; his breaking pitches are doing much breaking. It seems as though, after three season of inactivity, Pavano has turned from a pitcher into a thrower.
What Pavano and his failed tenure symbolize for the Yanks is up for debate. It could stand for the frustrations of the last few seasons. It could stand for an era of decadence in which the Yanks tried to grab every big-name free agent out of there regardless of numbers of make-up. Or it could just have been a high-profile mistake that, today, doesn’t even seem that expensive.
At some point, another Carl Pavano will come along. In fact, Carl wasn’t the first of his kind – Darren Dreifort and Mike Hampton come to mind — and he won’t be the last. But as Pavano heads for greener pastures, perhaps the Yanks have learned their lessons about signing pitchers that just aren’t that good. Good bye, Carl. We hardly knew ye.