Winter Meetings: Red Sox Dealing

<b>ANAHEIM –</b> Carl Pavano is down to his five final choices on the free agent market, and from the sounds of it, he might just wind up pitching at Fenway Park.

Carl Pavano's agent, Scott Shapiro, said Friday that Pavano would only be considering the teams to which he paid a visit on his recent cross-country treks: Boston, Detroit, Seattle, Baltimore and the Yankees.

And though all of Pavano's contending cities are offering similar four-year deals, it may wind up being a meeting at the Massachusetts home of Red Sox ace Curt Schilling that tips the scales in Boston's favor.

"Carl was so humbled by Curt taking time to open up not only his mind, but his house to us," Shapiro said. "He took the time to explain the virtues of being a member of the Boston Red Sox Nation."

Schilling and Pavano are both fanatical students of baseball, and though Pavano doesn't chronicle each one of his starts on videotape the way Schilling does, he has an in-depth hunger for self-improvement and analysis that Schilling identified with.

Shapiro said the two sat together for a sizable chunk of time, breaking down years-old pitch sequences to certain hitters from memory.

"Carl and Curt really enjoyed each other's company," Shapiro said. "I think it was very influential for him."

That's not to discount the other stops on Pavano's recent travelogue. Each city had its highlights for the 28-year-old right-hander, who is finally back home in Montreal with his girlfriend after a dizzying spin around the country.

He had dinner with Reggie Jackson in New York, talked pitching with Seattle's Jamie Moyer, met with Al Kaline in Detroit and, last but not least, saw his Orioles-emblazoned likeness plastered on the matrix board at Camden Yards.

"He can see himself in every uniform," Shapiro said. "Right now, he's processing all the information he got on the trip. Hopefully, I'll hear from him soon."


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