Cleveland Indians Make Splash By Signing Carl Pavano

Ronald ManbaumCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2009

The Indians made quite a splash in the free-agent market recently by signing Carl Pavano to a one-year deal for $1.5 million.  I suppose the risk of signing Pavano is fairly low since the Indians are only on the hook for $1.5 million if Pavano misses all his performance bonuses, but even $1.5 million is probably overpaying for a guy that just took a $40 million, four-year vacation.

It looks like the Indians philosophy' this offseason is to hedge their bets. I mean, when you sign Kerry Wood and Carl Pavono in one offseason, you are asking for trouble.  Perhaps they could throw Mark Pryor and Mo Vaughn into the mix for good measure. 

As long as the Indians do not make the same mistake that Brian Cashman made over and over by penciling in Pavano in their starting rotation from day one of the year, they should be fine.

I am quite certain each and every Yankee fan is laughing at the fact that the Indians signed Pavano, but I wouldn't be shocked if he rebounded nicely. It's a low-risk, high-reward deal, and I'm sure Pavano will do just enough this year to get one more big contract before going on the disabled list for another four years.

A.J. Burnett, one of Pavano's closest friends, has probably counseled him well on the benefits of taking that route to fame and undeserved fortune.

As long as the Indians are willing to cut ties with Pavano after this year, regardless of how well he performs, they have made a very wise acquisition that could pay significant dividends this year.