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Highest Paid Pitcher in Yankees History?

This was inspired by a conversation between myself and my father-in-law. He still talks bad about Carl Pavano while I've tried to forget that period of Yankee history. Regardless, we were talking about the recent failings of A.J. Burnett...

The thinking back when he signed for more than $80 million in the 2008-'09 offseason was: If he's healthy, he'll be an effective pitcher, but will he be healthy? During his Yankee tenure, it's been pretty much the opposite: He's been healthy, but inconsistent and largely ineffective, posting a 32-35 record and 4.82 ERA (91 ERA+, 1.45 WHIP, 7.7 K/9) in 93 pinstriped starts. Prior to playing in the Bronx, he was 87-76 with a 3.81 ERA (111 ERA+, 1.28 WHIP, 8.4 K/9). That's the guy Brian Cashman and Co. thought they were getting, but it hasn't worked out that way.

Anyway, as frustrating as Burnett's been, he doesn't begin to compare to two of the worst signings of the past decade: Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa, who assuredly will vie for the title of this article.

I wanted to find out who had been paid the most money per-pitch-thrown in Yankee history. I figured it had to be between Pavano and Igawa.

Pavano was signed from 2005-'08, and pitched in all of 26 games for the Yankees. Thanks to B-Ref, we can find how many pitches he threw during that time (2264).

Igawa, on the other hand, has been rather healthy during his time in the U.S. He holds Scranton's record for career wins with 33. He's thrown over 500 minor league innings since being posted after the 2006 season. But he just hasn't been good enough to crack the big league roster and has been mostly a warm body over the last two years, meant to fill out the Scranton or Trenton rotations when needed. His major league career consists of 13 starts (16 appearances) and a 6.66 ERA. He only threw about half as many pitches for the Yankees as Pavano: 1295.

Now for their salaries. Pavano, of course, signed a four-year deal worth $40 million ($39.95 to be exact). Igawa signed a five-year deal worth $20 million (that expires after the current season).*

The math -

$39,950,000/2264 pitches thrown = $17,646/pitch. F### you, Carl Pavano!

$20,000,000/1295 pitches thrown = $15,444/pitch.

Well, there you have it. Carl "Bruised Buttocks" Pavano wins the title as the highest paid pitcher in Yankee history (and quite possibly in major league history).

* If you want to count Igawa's posting fee ($26 million) as part of the "highest paid" part, then the math would be: $46,000,194/1295 pitches thrown = $35,521/pitch, doubling even the mighty Pavano. He wasn't paid any of the posting fee, but the Yankees did spend that money. It depends how you want to look at it. Both signings, of course, were horrible wastes of money in hindsight.