Could Fresh N.L. Start with Mets Save Carl Pavano's Fading Career?

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Could Fresh N.L. Start with Mets Save Carl Pavano's Fading Career?
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Fresh off a trade that sent reigning NL Cy Young Award-winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Mets are pursuing replacement options that can help them get back on track in the NL East.

There was a certain amount of interest in signing Francisco Liriano, but that was put to bed on Friday when the Pittsburgh Pirates inked the lefty to a two-year deal.

Liriano may not be the only pitcher on the Mets radar, however, as former New York Yankee and Minnesota Twin Carl Pavano could possibly find his way back into the Big Apple.

Pavano pitched for the Yankees from 2005-2008, though he sat out the entire 2006 season and left a bad mark on NYC after making only 26 starts in the pinstripes while still taking home $38 million.

It was in Minnesota that Pavano was able to resurrect his career somewhat, going 17-11 in his first full season with the Twins (2010), earning a two-year contract worth $15 million.

He battled injuries throughout 2012 and would make only 11 starts for, and with the Twins shuffling their rotation this offseason, it's becoming clear that Target Field will no longer be Pavano's home.

Depending on what the Mets plans are in the NL East in 2013, a deal for Pavano could make sense.

As Phil Mackey of ESPN1500 tweeted earlier this month, MLB execs believe that the only contract Pavano will get would include a low base salary with performance incentives.

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This would bode well for the Mets, as their handling of contract negotiations with Dickey is a clear sign that they're reluctant to hand out big dollars even to a pitcher that's proven to be at the top of his game, let alone one who's had a career hampered by injuries and subpar performances.

Pavano started his career in the National League as a member of the Montreal Expos. After enjoying his best days as a major leaguer with the Florida Marlins, Pavano moved to the American League in 2005 and has been in the AL ever since.

Age is another factor the Mets need to take into consideration. Pavano will turn 37 before spring training gets underway, further diminishing his chances of signing a multi-year deal.

Beyond Johan Santana and Jonathon Niese, the Mets have plenty of room for improvement in their starting rotation, and while Pavano may prove to be a budget-friendly move, there really aren't many benefits to committing salary to a pitcher that hasn't done anything worthwhile in nearly three years.

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