By Sweeny Murti
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Now that the Yankees have chosen Freddy Garcia as their 5th starter, here’s a “What If?” for you. Carl Pavano.

The guy dubbed “American Idle” by the New York Post when he started only 26 games over four years in pinstripes has made 65 starts the last two seasons. Pavano had thrown more innings by the end of July last year than he did in all four seasons with the Yankees combined.

And this past winter, after Cliff Lee came off the board, Pavano was the next best available starter. And the Yankees did seriously consider him, in fact offering Pavano a one-year deal.

Sunday, as Pavano tuned up for his Opening Day assignment for the Twins by facing the Yankees in an exhibition game in Fort Myers, Joe Girardi talked about the possibility that Pavano might be in his rotation right now if things had gone differently this winter:

Pavano was an easy target for fans and media, but Brian Cashman always stood up for the signing, pointing to the numerous injuries, all very real and debilitating. And despite all the venom directed at him, Pavano knew he had an ally in Cashman and that was the biggest reason for this winter’s flirtation.

I always had great respect for Brian Cashman,” Pavano told reporters shortly after re-signing with the Twins. “I still, through the years, have had contact with him, and we’ve stayed in touch. When they won the World Series (in 2009), I called him to congratulate him because he was nothing but a class gentleman when I was there. He treated me with a lot of respect, and that shows a lot, that he was going to stick his neck out there for me if something was going to work out.”

Whether Carl Pavano 2.0 ever would have worked in New York will have to remain a mystery, but as the Yankees muddle through a summer of Freddy Garica, Bartolo Colon, Kevin Millwood, and anybody else that may come along over the next 162 games…will you ever wish the Yankees had signed Pavano (31-23, 4.39 ERA in 420.1 innings since 2009) instead?

Sweeny Murti

A big ‘what if’. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below…

Comments (6)
  1. Nick says:

    Frankly Sweeny is right to bring this up due to the questions at the back end of the rotation. He’d be a heck of an upgrade over the likes of Colon, Garcia and Millwood. Slot Pavano in the #4 spot and suddenly Nova at the 5 is looking like a formidable rotation. People need to get over rash agendas, Pavano could not stay healthy in his tenure here, its not like he was afraid of NY or anything, lets remember he turned down more money to come to the Bronx. I for one wouldn’t of been opposed to a deal with Pavano, but instead narrow-minded fans will think it was better not to and we’ll end up watching Garcia, Colon and Millwood get shuffled around after their below-average arsenals prove non-worthy.

  2. HOWARD says:

    that 31and 23 record was with Minnesota.He was a bum with the Yanks.

  3. Paul says:

    Ed whitson would a more welcomed.

  4. bob from jersey says:


  5. Johnny V says:

    I hate Pavano. I wish I could beat him with a baseball bat. As far as I’m concerned he’s a swindler… stole the Yankee’s money. There should be room for an arbitrator in professional sports- that allows for teams to take back a serious amount of money when someone who demands so much during contract negotiations (the likes of which Pavano did). I still think he has a jinx on him the way he kept getting injured be it on the field or while driving in his car. Hey Murti are you crazy? I would not touch him with the 100′ bat pole at Yankee stadium. He’s like a human black hole that floated down to earth and crashed in the major leagues. Give him another month or two and he will find another way to underperform due to some other weird physical ailment.

  6. Dominick Mezzapesa says:

    Why write this? I hate “What if” articles they are such a waste of time.

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