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Indians Sign Pavano, Designate Aubrey For Assignment

January 6, 2009
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The Indians signed free agent right-handed starter Carl Pavano today to a one year deal for $1.5 million with the opportunity to earn up to $5.3 million more in incentives. To make room on theh 40-man roster, the Indians designated first baseman Michael Aubrey for assignment. The Indians now have ten days to trade, release or assign Aubrey to the minors (if he clears waivers).

An interesting move, although not a surprise given that the Indians have stated all offseason they were uncomfortable with the makeup of the starting rotation. Gotta say though, this in no way makes me any more warm and fuzzy about the starting rotation as Pavano is a huge question mark himself from a health standpoint, and I am not sure he is that good. Aside from a great 2004 season in Florida and a very good postseason in 2003, he has been very bad and unhealthy in his ten year career.

I'm fine with taking a one year low risk gamble on the guy, as if he does not perform we can cut him loose at any time. But, me personally, I feel we may be better off going with any two of Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Sowers, David Huff, Scott Lewis and Zach Jackson in the #4 and #5 spot. With Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona, Anthony Reyes (out of options), and Pavano now locked 1-4 in the rotation, it will make for one hell of a camp battle for the fifth start spot between the five lefties Laffey, Lewis, Jackson, Sowers, and Huff.

As for Aubrey, not much of a surprise, although I thought right-handed reliever Eddie Mujica would be given the axe first. If he clears waivers, he could still be with the team. If by chance he is released and picked up elsewhere, I'll post his 2009 scouting report on here as a farewell since he will be removed from the upcoming Top 100 Prospect Rankings he is included in.

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