If ever there is a poster boy for the foolishness exhibited by Major League clubs in giving long-term contracts to pitchers, that poster boy has to be Carl Pavano. The Yankees gave a four-year, $40 million contract to Pavano after the 2004 season. And what did Pavano produce? His record for the four years *combined* was 9-8!!
Pavano had a series of injuries during that time period, and his character and work habits were drawn into serious question. Manager Joe Torre, who usually supports his players, said that the amount of work Pavano needed to do in repairing his clubhouse image was "sizable." Pitcher Mike Mussina was also critical, saying "It didn't look good from a player's and teammate's standpoint. Was everything just coincidence? Over and over again? I don't know."
So the Indians signed Pavano for the 2009 season, his Yankees contract having finally run out. Fortunately for the Indians, they gave Pavano only a one-year contact, for a relatively low salary. Having installed loser Carl as their #3 starter, the Indians watched his first start in horror as he gave up 9 runs in one inning plus, getting only 3 of the first 12 batters out.
Pavano's problems are typical of the entire Indians staff so far this year. The Indians are still winless, one of only 2 teams to be s0 for the young season. I know it's early, but my prediction of the Indians to win the AL Central looks bad already.
Many pitchers have been busts after getting long-term contracts. Just think of Barry Zito or Russ Ortiz. These are guys getting paid ridiculous amounts of money, and who are fighting just to keep a starting job. When are GM's going to learn?