What To Do With Angel Pagan?

It’s Angel Pagan Day at MetsToday; this is a post by Dave Gogel, so please direct your feedback to him. — Joe

2010 was a banner year for Angel Pagan. He was finally healthy and getting an opportunity to play, and Pagan took full advantage. He produced a sexy slash line of .290/.340/.425 to go with 11 bombs, 69 RBI, and 37 stolen bases. Pagan also played a golden quality center field, making the cavern seem a bit smaller. His production had many a Met fan giddy and gave the anti-Beltran clan more ammo. Not only was he finally healthy, but his penchant for terrible baseball decisions in the field on the base paths were no longer apparent. So did the Mets have a late bloomer on their hands, and someone to hold the fort in center while some of the kids developed?

2011 has not been a banner year for Angel Pagan. With expectations high, he has been unable to match the the consistency of the previous year. His numbers are not too painful (.268/.328/.393) to go with 26 swipes, 7 homers and 46 RBIs. However, he is not the pesky game breaker he was last year. Even worse, his bad habits have returned. Pagan has been hitting better of late, but his lapses are costly on a team with little to no margin for error. Bad base running coupled with some poor decisions in the outfield helped add to the disappointing year. So which player is Pagan, the all-around threat of 2010 or the inconsistent headache of 2011?

I am led to believe that Pagan is best served as a 4th outfielder on a contending team. The tools are there but are just not shown enough consistently. However, he does whatever the team asks of him, plays hard and seems to be a solid teammate. Angel had a career year in 2010 and has been exposed this year — too many flaws creep up with more and more playing time. It is easy to say that the new regime should have traded him in the off-season while his value was high, but I do not blame Alderson and company for wanting to evaluate what they had. Maybe they non-tender him and he signs elsewhere, or they re-sign him for one year and trade him when one of the kids are ready. Personally, Pagan and Murphy’s consistent lack of smart baseball drive me nuts. Having one player like that is enough for one team to deal with. I would cut ties with Pagan and keep the Irish Hammer and his potent bat.

What would you do with Angel Pagan?

David Gogel is a lifelong Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @troonooyawker.
  1. Joe August 22, 2011 at 10:20 am
    I think the analysis here is reasonable.

    Pagan is not a good fit for permanent center fielder, though could meet the task short term as back-ups can and perhaps be a corner outfielder. This doesn’t make him a lousy player. In his niche, he is a good addition. And, ’11 wasn’t the best time to cut him. With Beltran on the way out (and of questionable wellness), they kept him.

    Duda and Bay seems like the corner outfielders for ’12 unless they get someone else. They should trade Pagan and try to get a better everyday CF. Unfortunately, I have doubts they could keep Murphy either, since both OF and 2B didn’t work well. Corner infield seems possible, but the positions seem filled. Off the bench?

    Murphy would also seem like a good fit on the right team. Like Pagan, I would not bad mouth him — it is just a matter of finding the right role. A team might offer the Mets something useful for that reason.