After making the playoffs for the fifth time in eight seasons, and with a new ballpark in the waiting, the Minnesota Twins entered the off-season primed to make some moves. It took less than two days for the front office to get started, and the big moves over the past four-plus months have many fans optimistic about the team’s chances.
It was an uneventful start to the 2009 Winter Meetings, but the Minnesota Twins did make the news when day one was all said and done. A week after offering starting pitcher Carl Pavano arbitration, he officially became a part of next season’s roster when he accepted the offer late Monday night.
“So, in all likelihood, the Twins will end up paying Pavano something between $6 and $8 million next year. Even with a market that looks to be paying a depressed rate for wins, that’s still valuing him as a two win pitcher. Even with the health concerns, he’s got a good chance of besting that.”
“…Having Pavano back at a reasonable salary, along with the acquisition of J.J. Hardy, will strengthen the Twins significantly next year. Without expending much money, they’ve made a couple of moves with legitimate upside and minimal risk. It’s been a good off-season for Twins fans so far.”
When Carl Pavano accepted the Twins’ salary arbitration offer Monday, it pushed the team’s 2010 projected Opening Day payroll close to $90 million, based on salary estimates for those players currently in the fold.
Estimate to date – $89.8 million
Twins players and pitching coach Rick Anderson remained in contact with pitcher Carl Pavano in recent days, reminding him constantly how much they wanted him to be a part of the 2010 team.
“He feels tremendously comfortable in Minnesota,” Pavano’s agent, Tom O’Connell said. “He has tremendous respect for his teammates and thinks they are united in trying to win.
“We had to explore free agency, no doubt. But, at the end of the day this was a very easy decision because has made a lot of money in his career and its important to win a championship and the Twins give him the best opportunity to win.”
The Minnesota Twins have been relatively quiet since shoring up the shortstop position with the acquisition of J.J. Hardy one month ago. As December begins and the year winds to an end, the hot stove is heating up, and this week transactions will begin to come one after another.