Remember the super-athletic speed burner lacking baseball instincts who used to run around center field and the bases like a chicken with its head cut off? Well, according to various reports, Angel Pagan just agreed to a four-year, $40M deal with the Giants.
Tag: angel pagan
Growing up poor — and still today far from wealthy — I didn’t have the chance to indulge in many luxuries. So one of the things I did to deal was “window shop,” which is the exercise of checking out cool stuff you really want, but can’t afford. It’s sort of a daydream, and if you have a really good imagination, it makes you feel all warm inside for a few minutes — maybe even an hour.
Since the Mets are poor, and thus can’t afford any of the luxury items on the free-agent market, we’ll indulge ourselves by window shopping this winter.
In case you missed it, the Mets have a hole in centerfield, so we’ll start there. Unless you are of the ilk that Kirk Nieuwenhuis will become more than Jeremy Reed or Cory Sullivan (hey, I LOVED those guys — and still can’t figure out why either of them weren’t brought in last year to play for the MLB minimum, instead of Andres Torres … but, I digress …).
If the Mets were a big-market team with money to spend, they’d likely consider some of the free agent centerfielders available below. Since they play in the tiny Flushing market, the Mets obviously can’t make a pitch for any. But hey, on this blog, we can dream — if only for a few fleeting moments. So here goes …
With 16 days before pitchers and Molinas report, let’s consider Mets question #16 for the spring: who will handle centerfield?
Before you get too attached to the Mets’ biggest position-player pickup of the offseason, you may want to brace yourself for the possibility that Andres Torres is non-tendered.
Mets trade OF Angel Pagan to San Francisco for OF Andres Torres and RP Ramon Ramirez: The Mets got the upper hand of this deal, period. It’s not blatantly obvious, mind you; for all I know, Pagan will be worth 6 WAR season next year, while Kirk Nieuwenhuis will displace Torres as the starting center fielder by Memorial Day, and the Mets will trade Tores for cash considerations in August.
But on paper, this looks like a good deal. Swapping Pagan for Torres is more-or-less a lateral move, and on top of that, the Mets get a very good reliever in Ramon Ramirez.
Here’s some more extensive analysis on the deal:
Pagan: After posting an excellent 5.5 WAR season in 2010, Pagan hit just .262/.322/.372 and was worth just 0.9 WAR in 2011. His OPS. fell by over 70 points from 2010 to 2011 (.765 to to .694). His defensive decline, however, was even more precipitous, at least according to UZR. After supposedly saving 15.4 runs while splitting time between left, right, and center in 2010, Pagan cost the Mets -14.3 runs as their everyday center fielder in 2011. He also missed over a month’s worth of time in June with a stress fracture in his rib, and has quite a lengthy injury history.
Torres: Torres had an even better 2010 than Pagan. He was worth 6.8 WAR, tying for the 8th highest total in baseball with a guy named Jose Bautista. Like Pagan, he played every outfield position in 2010, saving 22 runs on defense, while providing excellent value at the plate (.268/.343/.479).
Torres was more valuable in 2011 than Pagan, totaling 2.1 WAR despite playing in 11 less games. While Torres offense steeply declined in 2011 (.221/.312/.330), he maintained his value defensively as the Giants everyday center fielder, saving 9.4 WAR. The injury bug also bit Torres in 2011, as he missed over 40 games with lower leg problems.
Ramirez: The 30 year-old Ramirez has bounced between Colorado, Kansas City, Boston, and San Fran the past four seasons, but he’s been solid everywhere he’s been, and 2011 was his best season yet: he posted a 2.62 ERA, with a 8.65 K/9, 3.41 BB/9, while also keeping the ball in the park (0.39 HR/9), with a 50% GB rate. While unspectacular, Ramirez does everything well; he misses bats, keeps the ball on the ground, and keeps his free passes in line.
Mets sign RP Jon Rauch to one year deal for $3.5 million, with a $3.75 mil. club option and $250,000 buyout:
Out of the three moves, I’m most skeptical about the Rauch signing. Rauch’s strikeout rate has declined the past two seasons, he’s a flyball-happy pitcher (which may be a problem at Citi Field next year given the altered dimensions), and his velocity was also down a bit in 2011. He posted a 4.85 ERA and a 5.26 FIP with the Blue Jays last season. My guess is that Alderson and co. are banking on Rauch’s numbers improving by getting out of the AL East. He was very reliable for the Twins in 2010. At $3.5 million, this signing might work out fine for the Mets, although I wonder if there were cheaper alternatives available.
Mets sign Frank Francisco for 2 years, $12 million: Francisco’s probably the front runner for the closing job next season. He throws hard, racks up the Ks, and like Rauch, does tend to allow his fair share of homers. I think the Mets get fair value out of Francisco.
Between Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Manny Acosta, Ramirez, Rauch, and Tim Byrdak, the Mets have the makings of a pretty solid bullpen. Perhaps they’ll dangle Bobby Parnell this winter? If anything, I’m assuming they’ll be less interested in relievers in this year’s rule five draft.
While I generally scoff at the notion of long-term, expensive contracts for relievers, I can’t help but wonder: Given the softening closer’s market, instead of signing Francisco and Rauch for a combined $10 million dollars next season, wouldn’t the Mets have been better off simply signing Ryan Madson for three years, $30 million to close?
Never mind what the Marlins are doing — nothing compares to the madness of the Mets at the winter meetings!
Sure, the Mets lost shortstop Jose Reyes, but Sandy Alderson is not one to let grass grow under his feet. The genius GM made a whirlwind of moves guaranteed to make the Mets almost as good as they were in 2011 — and at minimum, assures them a fifth-place finish in the NL East.
Sit down, because the plethora of moves will knock you backward if you’re standing.
You may already have heard that the Citi Field fences are moving in — significantly. There are many reasons behind this decision, and I wonder if one of them is a preemptive strike guarding against the departure of Jose Reyes?
Cardinals 11 Mets 6
If this were 1960, the season would now be over. Unfortunately for Mets fans suffering through a meaningless September, there are still 8 more games to go.
This was really MUCH closer than the final score indicates. And I know I’ve typewritten these exact words several times this year, but trust me — it was really and truly a close game, for most of the contest.