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Updated: January 6th, 2011 10:55pm
Twins, Carl Pavano continue discussions, but progress unclear

Twins, Carl Pavano continue discussions, but progress unclear

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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News regarding free-agent starter Carl Pavano has been pretty scarce since the winter meetings ended in early December.

As of Thursday, the Minnesota Twins continue to hold discussions with the right-hander, two baseball sources confirmed.

One source said the two sides made quality strides during discussions this week. Another source wasn't as convinced about recent progress between the two parties, but indicated both sides remain hopeful.

Pavano, who turns 35 on Saturday, is believed to be seeking a three-year contract. He declined the Twins' arbitration offer on November 30, but has remained in constant communication with the club since the winter meetings.

Multiple reports have linked the Washington Nationals to Pavano in recent weeks, and more recent reports have added the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates to that list. The Rangers and Brewers were believed to have kicked the tires on Pavano earlier this offseason, but Texas signed Brandon Webb and Milwaukee traded for Zack Greinke.

Indications are that Minnesota is Pavano's desired destination if the two sides can find middle ground on a contract.

Twins general manager Bill Smith has said he feels comfortable with the five starters behind Pavano -- Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn and Brian Duensing -- should a deal not be completed.

Pavano has thrown 420 1/3 innings over the last two seasons, and he posted a 3.75 ERA and 4.02 FIP while walking just 1.5 batters per nine innings for the Twins in 2010.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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