Benefit from Pavano trade could last awhile

I’m the first to admit that I’m stunned how well Carl Pavano has pitched for the Minnesota Twins this season.

The Twins did the right thing in offering him arbitration this past offseason, and Pavano – considering the free-agent market – did the right thing in taking it.

Sporting an epic mustache, Pavano this year has been that steady veteran presence in an otherwise turbulent Twins rotation. He’s gone 9-6 in 15 starts, posting a 3.33 ERA and a .239 opponents’ batting average.

Twins GM Bill Smith probably doesn’t get enough credit for how well last summer’s trade with Cleveland has worked out. The Twins got Pavano from the Indians in exchange for minor league pitcher Yohan Pino. Forget about the Johan trade. It’s the Yohan trade we’re talking about.

Pino, by the way, has a 5.49 ERA in 15 starts for Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate in Columbus.

But it doesn’t stop there with Pavano, who helped pitch the team to the AL Central title last year.

Pavano is now on pace to be a Type A free agent after the season, according to projections made available by MLBtraderumors.com.

That means his departure after the season would give the Twins a compensatory first-round pick plus the first-round pick of whatever team signs him.

Not a bad haul for Yohan Pino. It might be a better haul for Yohan than it was for Johan.

On the radio today

I’m making my weekly appearance on "Sports Talk" today from 1-2 p.m. on WDAY 970-AM.

Joining me in studio is Forum colleague Andrew Gottenborg.

Today on the show, we’ll talk to Associated Press sports writer Jon Krawczynski about all things Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Twins. The NBA opens free agency tomorrow. Are the Wolves equipped to make any splash whatsoever? They have the money, but seemingly every team has the money.

We’ll also talk to Fargo Force goalie Zane Gothberg, who was drafted by the NHL’s Boston Bruins on Saturday. We’ll ask him about that and about the upcoming Force camp in a couple of weeks.

And Gottenborg and I will debate a potential Stephen Strasburg All-Star bid, which got some activity on my previous post. I have to admit that Steve in the Comments section made a strong argument against Strasburg being on the team, and I might be wavering. I knew it was the year of the pitcher, but wow. There are a lot of guys with sub-3.00 ERAs in the NL, aren’t there? 

To take part in the show, give us a call at (701) 293-9000 or (800) 279-9329 or e-mail talk@wday.com.