Breaking Down The Andres Torres / Angel Pagan Trade

The Giants brass earlier in the day more or less said they had a few things cooking in the hot stove – and while it might not be the spread we were all hoping for, it is something…

By now, if you haven’t heard, the Giants shipped reliever Ramon Ramirez along with fan favorite Andres Torres to the New York Mets in exchange for outfielder Angel Pagan. Pagan, once expected to be a fixture of the re-tooled Mets that included the core of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes struggled with injuries last year and never lived up to the hype that was fairly or unfairly projected on him.

So how does this trade look for the Giants? Rather than go through an entire paragraph of numbers, we’ll break it down in some pro and con bullet points.

Pros:

  • At his worst, Angel Pagan is a better offensive player than Andres Torres. Pagan has only played two “legit” (as in more than 100 game seasons and the most recent of them was spent unhealthy) but his 2010 season showed what an important offensive weapon Pagan can be as he put up a .290/.340 OBP%/37 SB season hitting atop the Mets lineup. His 2011 was spent continually unhealthy, but he still manged to have a far better offensive year than the equally unhealthy Torres.
  • Only 30, Pagan has nearly four years on the 33 year old Torres and should have a very acceptable 2012 salary (think mid 4′s).
  • Pagan not only brings an improved offensive game, but, can play all three outfield positions and can do so with very solid defense. While not the elite defender Torres can be, he’s still well above average.
  • Speed and more speed. No, you wont confuse him with Desmond Jennings on the basepaths but when healthy, Pagan can swipe bags with the best of them. A surefire candidate for 35 steals easily when healthy.
  • Solid gap hitter – not in power, but, will be able to use the big alley’s at AT&T with ease.
  • While it’s not a perfect scenario, the Giants did find themselves a very competent leadoff hitter.
  • The move will also allow the Giants to put Melky in left field, avoiding the horrible Melky in CF situation we were all cringing about.
  • Hello, Heath Hembree.

Cons:

  • Well, we’ll start with the most obvious – considering the excess in outfielders, one could reasonably assume that Carlos Beltran isn’t coming back. Nothing is set in stone and situations change, but….the Giants have a LOT of outfielders…
  • Injury prone? It’s a valid question in my mind as Pagan hasn’t ever had a truly healthy season. Even his very good 2010 had some nagging injuries.
  • I wouldn’t call him strikeout prone, but, he’s not going to be that much more effective with contact than Torres was. Both players swing through quite a bit.
  • Not as solid a center fielder as Andres Torres, but still effective.
  • The loss of Ramon, which while it sucks on the surface and it appeared Ramon had fixed his slider issues that plagued him in the ’10 playoff run, he was still nothing more than a solid right handed arm out of the pen. Certainly not meant to discredit him or his skill level, but, Sabean and Tidrow have a very solid track record at finding cheap and effective pen arms.

All in all – it’s difficult for me to see much bad in the trade, other than the obvious which is the assumption that Carlos Beltran wont be returning. Andres Torres, who as a person I love, simply wasn’t getting it done on the field and the Giants needed a better offensive player who could play comparable defense in center, which they found. At the cost of a solid but replaceable right handed reliever, I’ll take that.

Topics: Andres Torres, Angel Pagan, New York Mets, Ramon Ramirez, Rumors, San Francisco Giants

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  • Ted Striker

    Lincecum and Cain, Lincecum and Cain…

    They have one more year of the horrible contracts: Zito, Rowand, Huff et al. Then all that comes off the books.

    So maybe they sign Lincecum and Cain long term before this year and structure the contracts so that it has a lower first year salary and significantly higher follow up years. By the time the salaries get boosted, the bad contracts are gone and they can stay within their overall budget.

    Plus, I think it means a lot to a player to get locked in early so they don’t have to wonder about a possible impending move over the course of the year. It also helps the player commit to the team mentally if that player knows the team has gone beyond the call of duty to commit to him.

    Everything else is secondary to Lincecum and Cain. It was the same with the Braves in the 90s. Everything was secondary to Glavine, Smoltz, and eventually Maddux. And that got them into a full decade of contending for the World Series on a yearly basis.

    And I don’t think Beltran comes back. If Posey can come back strong on offense, they have two semi-power hitters… Panda and Posey could hit low 30s/low 20s in homers respectively, in a good year. After that they don’t have much. They need one more semi-power guy in the 5/6 spot that can dish out low 20s homers and I think their offense would be significantly upgraded (maybe Belt if he continues to progress?). I do like the fact that they are getting faster on the base paths. If they simply put up league average offense numbers they are going to win 90+ annually with the pitching.