Angel Pagan Trade Reaction

Well, hello there Angel Pagan, 30 years old, and not exactly coming off a good season. In 532 plate appearances, he hit .262/.322/.372 (99 wRC+), which is pretty respectable, but he seemed to have a bad year in the outfield: -14.3 UZR, -1 DRS, -19 TZ. Take it at face value, with all the usual small sample size defensive metric caveats, but the general consensus seems to be that he wasn’t good. That said, based on how great he rated in 2010 (+15 UZR, +7 DRS, +21 TZ), I’d expect that he’s capable of doing better than his 2011 metrics show. It’s not as simple as just averaging his two most recent seasons and assuming he’s a neutral defender, but I think he’s at least generally considered to be better defensively than Melky Cabrera.

It’s easy to look at the sub-.700 OPS from this season and be unsatisfied, but that’s the state of offense in major-league baseball at this point. That was average production in 2011. Assuming he does a decent-enough job with the glove, I could easily see him being an above-average player (Bill James, for the record, projects a .325 wOBA for Mr. Pagan).

What do the Giants lose? Well, for one, they lose a solid bullpen arm. Ramirez has never been anything flashy, but in his time with the Giants he put up good numbers: 95.2 IP, 178 ERA+, 2.07 ERA/3.14 FIP/3.90 xFIP. On one hand, I don’t think I’ll ever forget this. I mean, that pitch was right down the freakin’ middle. But Ramirez is a quality arm, even though the Giants’ bullpen can surely take the hit (hey there, Heath Hembree).

Andres Torres has left more of a mark in San Francisco. I’m sure I’ll expand on this later, but I’m going to miss Torres. A lot. From a statistical standpoint, he had quite a large impact on the Giants: take his seven wins away from the 2010 Giants, and there’s no championship. There’s no denying the steep dropoff in his performance, as his wOBA dipped below .300 in 2011. But he was valuable nonetheless, certainly enough so that he was worth tendering a contract. I’ve explained this repeatedly, but his value as an elite defensive outfielder with plus speed made him, at worst, a fourth outfielder going into next season. He’s getting a little old (in baseball terms, at least), and given his not-so-lengthy track record, I could understand the sentiment that he doesn’t warrant a starting job. And for the record, scouts hate his swing. But he’s raked to the tune of .269/.343/.492 since 2009, and I think he’s ultimately still a league-average player. And hey, for what it’s worth, Bill James still thinks Torres has something left in that bat.

In any event, was becoming increasingly clear that he had no place in the Giants’ 2012 plans. If the option was non-tender him or trade him, I’d obviously prefer the latter.

As a whole, I like the move. So long as it doesn’t push Brandon Belt out of a starting role (seriously, Bruce Bochy, please don’t do that). Angel Pagan is a better centerfielder than Melky Cabrera, and this move clearly improves the Giants’ lineup.

Farewell, Torres. Always underappreciated.


8 thoughts on “Angel Pagan Trade Reaction

  1. Brandon Belt needs to HIT. If he does, The Giants will find a spot for him. If not, he may find Brett Pill taking away his job.

  2. Schierholtz may be most likely to get pushed out. How long have fans been waiting for Schierholtz to break out? If last year was his break out year, you have a .330 wOBA right fielder. Not good enough for an offense deprived team. Nate makes a Great 4th outfielder and LH. Giants need Belt’s OBP and SLG in the lineup more than the occasional runner gunned down at second trying to stretch a single to a double.

    Oh this is about Pagan. Nice to have a legit leadoff/CF!

  3. I look at it this way….Ramirez for Pagan with Torres thrown in….relief pitcher for a lead off man. I will miss Andres. Now lets get rid of Huff A.S.A.P for a starting/long relief arm, Belt and Pill need to be in there. As Huff is leaving stuff Fontenot and Eli under each arm on the way out.

  4. Huff is due for a good season if you follow his career history. I will def miss Torres more a a personality than a player. I wish him the best.

  5. As a lifelong Mets fan who has viewed or attended over 4500 Mets games, I feel that I can inform Giants fans that Pagan will have you stratching your heads. He has excellent physical skills, but has extremely poor baseball instincts, is sub-par baserunner (had possibly the worst baserunning year in MLB history in 2009 — not SBs, but baserunning decision-making), is a sub-par fielder despite his speed (was terrible last year), has a decent arm but rarely threw a ball near home plate last year when attempting to throw out a runner at the plate), had a .322 OBP from the leadoff spot last year, doesn’t play hurt, and according to the NY Daily News was greatly disliked in the clubhouse. I am thrilled he’s gone, along with many Mets fans and the Mets TV announcers, who basically begged the Mets management during 2010 broadcasts to dump Pagan. I don’t care if Torres ever plays a game for the Mets — it was still a good trade. Good luck with Pagan, Giants fans! He’ll make you cheer on occasion, but mostly he’ll make you curse.

  6. According to Baggs, Giants also receive a prospect or cash from the Mets. I was just saying that to my buddy I wish the giants got more. Apparently they did.

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