Carl Pavano became a free agent Wednesday, but not before the Marlins gave the pitcher something to ponder: a three-year, $21-million contract offer.
That would make Pavano the second-highest paid player on the Marlins behind third baseman Mike Lowell. But with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox expected to join in the bidding, Pavano likely will receive more lucrative offers.
Front-office executives made their offer Wednesday during a meeting with Pavano and his agent, Scott Shapiro.
Teams can start signing free agents Nov. 12.
Lowell agreed last week to remain with the Marlins after the team guaranteed the final three years of his contract, and Lowell said then he would do what he could to convince Pavano to stay.
The New York Times’ Ty Kepner tips the budget-conscious Yankees to cherry-pick from an assortment of unproven youngsters, amongst them Pedro Martinez, David Wells and Alphonso Soriano.
If the Yankees rebuild their rotation through free agency, they could more easily trade starter Javier Vazquez, who could be their most marketable commodity in a trade. The Rangers would have interest in a possible deal of Vazquez for Soriano, according to a Texas official.
The Rangers were happy with Soriano after the Yankees traded him for Alex Rodriguez in February. But he could make $8 million next season after salary arbitration, and the Rangers need pitching. Vazquez is entering the second year of a four-year, $45 million contract, but the Rangers could absorb the added payroll because of their flexibility this winter.
Texas will be free of the contracts of Rusty Greer, Jay Powell, Todd Van Poppel and Jeff Zimmerman, clearing room to add pitching. Michael Young could return to second base from shortstop, and the Rangers could sign Omar Vizquel to play short. The free agent Miguel Cairo played well at second base for the Yankees last season, but the Yankees crave stars and they already know Soriano can handle New York. Vazquez, who crumbled in the second half and the playoffs, has not proven that.