With Newsday’s David Lennon suggesting that Pedro Martinez will shun the Mets overtures and return to the Red Sox (and the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman reporting the Cardinals’ entering the fray) , the New York Post’s Michael Morrisey and George King tip the Yankees as free agent P Carl Pavano’s new club.

It appears the Yankees have bested the Red Sox in the first offseason fight.

According to multiple sources, Carl Pavano and the Yankees are drawing very close to getting a four-year deal worth about $42 million done.

Once believed to be staying with the Marlins, the right-handed pitcher is leaning toward joining the Yankees over the Red Sox.

Pavano, whose agent, Scott Shapiro, had a meeting with Yankee GM Brian Cashman last night at the winter meetings, visited Yankee Stadium last week.

“It’s up to Carl now, all the offers are on the table,” Shapiro said. “It could happen in an hour or in a week.”

Originally it was believed Pavano couldn’t do better than a three-year deal. But the market moved when Kris Benson got three years for $22.5 million from the Mets.

As for Tim Hudson, it’s believed the right-hander will be dealt before Monday. According to a source, the Red Sox “are being very aggressive” in trying to secure a third team to get into the fray that already has eight clubs jockeying to land the 29-year-old who was 12-6 with a 3.53 ERA last season. Hudson is due $6.7 million this coming season and is a free agent after it.