Among the names bandied about in the Mets' search for a final member of their Opening Day starting rotation is Carl Pavano. The soon-to-be 37-year-old, who has played for the Expos, Marlins, Yankees, Indians, and Twins in his career, is a free agent coming off a down year in Minnesota in which he only made eleven starts.
In New York, of course, Pavano is notorious for the four years he spent with the Yankees. After signing a four-year, $40 million contract as a free agent, he made just 26 starts between 2005 and 2008. Immediately following that contract, he turned into a durable pitcher with Cleveland and Minnesota from 2009 through 2011. Over that span, he put up 5.1 K/9 and an astonishingly low 1.6 BB/9 — fourth-best among starting pitchers over that span and trailing just Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Dan Haren. Pavano wasn't even close to the caliber of pitcher as those three, but his ability to limit walks is perhaps is greatest strength.
Pavano's 2012 season was cut short because of a sore pitching shoulder, though. While he didn't undergo surgery on the shoulder, it stands to reason that there's at least some risk involved in signing him.
If the Mets can bring Pavano on board on an incentive-laden deal — much like they did with Chris Young each of the past two seasons — it would be a good move. If he doesn't play much, he won't get paid much, but if he does, he'd be an affordable fifth starter.