Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images
Angel Pagan brings excellent speed to the Giants lineup
At first glance, the Giants' trade of Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres for Angel Pagan was a curious one. However, there are four factors that, when explored, help one to understand why this deal made sense for the Giants.
First off, it was questionable whether the Giants were going to offer salary arbitration to Torres. He will be 34 years of age when the 2012 season begins and is coming off his worst year as a Giant. Torres batted only .221 last year with four home runs and 19 RBI. His OBP of .312 and OPS of .643 were below par.
In comparison, Pagan is 30 years old; and although he is coming off a relatively poor year, that can be explained by all of the turmoil surrounding the Mets last season. I'm sure it was not much fun playing for the Mets in 2011.
Pagan hit .262 with seven home runs, 66 RBI and 32 stolen bases last season. He had his best year with the Mets in 2010, when he batted .290 with 11 home runs, 69 RBI and 37 steals.
Pagan is an offensive upgrade over Torres, although the Giants will miss Torres' outstanding defense in center field. Pagan made 10 errors in center field last year, which is way too many. He will have to improve in this area for the Giants.
I do expect Pagan to be energized playing in front of the large, boisterous crowds that fill AT&T Park. Whether he can duplicate his numbers from 2010 remains to be seen, but he should do better than his 2011 performance.
Pagan has also stated that he will be happy to bat leadoff for the Giants, if that's what helps the team. This was welcome news for manager Bruce Bochy, as Pagan could start in center field for the Giants and hit at the top of the order more often than not.
With the Bernie Madoff financial scandal putting owner Fred Wilpon in a tailspin, and the Mets being out of contention early on, it was easy to see why players lost their focus in New York. Those distractions will not be an issue in San Francisco and I do envision Pagan having a good year.
Ramirez was a very solid reliever for the Giants in his year and a half with the team. In 2011, Ramirez appeared in 66 games and had an ERA of 2.62 and WHIP of 1.165, both very good numbers.
That being said, Ramirez was really the sixth reliever in the Giants' bullpen, after Wilson, Romo, Lopez, Affeldt and Casilla. The Giants are also very high on young reliever Heath Hembree, who could possibly take over Ramirez's spot in the pen.
This made Ramirez expendable and the fact that the Giants will save about $1 million in the overall deal, sealed it for Sabean.