Pavano: Make Me A Yankee

<b>ANAHEIM –</b> On Friday, the agent for Carl Pavano said that it might take weeks to hear a final decision on where the pitcher might like to play. It took mere hours.

Pavano called Scott Shapiro on Saturday afternoon and instructed his representative to "try and hammer out a deal with the Yankees," the agent said.

"It took him a while," Shapiro said. "Now we have to hunker down and have serious negotiations."

That may not be too much of a challenge. The basic framework of a deal is already in place with the Yankees, according to Shapiro, and GM Brian Cashman is regarded as a fluid and competent executive in these matters.

Cashman met with Pavano in New York last weekend and is said to have been impressed with him. Meanwhile, the Yankees have already added Jaret Wright to their pitching rotation with a three-year deal and are still considered contenders for a possible Randy Johnson trade, although a Pavano signing would almost certainly nix that.

The bidding for Pavano had been thought in recent hours to be a two-team chase between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, although Shapiro said on Friday that Pavano was still entertaining offers from the Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.

The decision came early Saturday from Montreal, where Pavano is relaxing with his girlfriend after a dizzying journey around the country.

The 29-year-old right-hander was 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA this season for the Florida Marlins and could have visited one more team, the Anaheim Angels, but was too tired after his lengthy flights to meet with that club.

Bryan Hoch is in Anaheim covering the Winter Meetings for

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