Oct 10, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (16) hits a RBI double in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds in game four of the 2012 NLDS at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Angel Pagan is Having Tons of Fun

So, while I was working yesterday, I checked in periodically to see what was happening with the four playoff games being played. The first game I locked my eyes on was the decisive Game 5 between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. The team by the Bay showed that winning games at home in the postseason were overrated, as they lost the first two games at AT&T, only to take the last three in a row from the Reds on the road at the Great American Ballpark. Buster Posey put the cherry on top with a grand slam to help ensure the 6-4 for San Francisco, but it was a play by Angel Pagan I saw that made me realize how grateful he must be for getting traded last winter.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to forget that Pagan is on the Giants; being on the East coast, there isn’t a whole lot of coverage for the teams out in California, unless you’re the Dodgers and you decide to trade for every high salary player in the league. So, even though I was aware our centerfielder from 2011 was now playing for the Giants, it was rare that I remembered to check in and see how he was doing. Well, looks like he’s doing just fine. Although he only hit .150 in the five games against the Reds, the outfielder doubled and homered, while driving in four runs, and played some fantastic defense to help the Giants mount their comeback after digging themselves in an 0-2 hole.

It was the play he made in the bottom of the eighth that caught my eye; the tying run was at the plate with two outs, and Bruce Bochy brought in Sergio Romo to get the final out of the inning. Dioner Navarro hit a liner to shallow center field, and it looked like it was going to drop. However, it only looked that way because the TV didn’t show Pagan racing after the ball until right before it was about to hit the ground. Pagan made a great diving catch, and in one motion, he rolled on the ground and got right up, while pumping his first in the air. That’s the type of passion we see everyday from professional baseball players, but it gets magnified in October. That play ended the inning and the threat for the Reds, and Romo came out to finish Cincy off in the ninth, punching their ticket to the NLCS, and starting the celebration of champagne in the visitor’s clubhouse.

I’ve tried to give both Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez the benefit of the doubt through the 2012 season, but enough is enough. When Sandy Alderson made this trade last winter, it pointed to the Mets having the upper hand. Yes, the two teams traded centerfielders who had fallen out of grace with their respective teams, but a change of scenery can do wonders for a player, while New York also added a bonafide reliever to their bullpen. So, what did Torres and Ramirez do this past season? Torres was slated to be the Mets’ leadoff man, but he didn’t spend much time at the top of the order with a .230/.333/.316 line with 3 homers and 35 RBI. As for Ramirez, he struggled with inconsistency (I’m trying to be nice) throughout the season, going 3-4 with a 4.24 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, and 52 strikeouts in 63.2 innings pitched.

How did Angel do this year, you ask? Much better than either of the parts the Mets received in return. He was an important part of the team that ended up running away with the NL West division title, as he hit .288/.338/.440 with 8 homers and 56 RBI, which resembles the season he had in 2010 with New York (.290/.340/.425, 11 HR, 69 RBI). He was Super-2 arbitration-eligible last year, agreeing to a one-year/$4.85 million contract with San Francisco. The Giants are incredibly pleased with his performance this season, and although he will be a free agent at the end of the postseason, they’ve expressed interest in bringing him back to the Bay.

Could the Mets go after him? He has a little bit of power, is a switch hitter, and has some speed….no, probably not. Pagan had fallen out of favor with the coaching staff and in the clubhouse, so I doubt New York will be considering him as an option in the free agent market. Plus, he will likely be looking for a multi-year deal, something Alderson will not be willing to do. I knew Pagan had to be traded away last winter, but I did like him and am very happy that he’s having the kind of success he’s having this season.

What do you think? Do you wish the Mets gave Pagan another chance before trading him away?

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Tags: Andres Torres Angel Pagan New York Mets Ramon Ramirez Sandy Alderson

  • Disgruntled

    Yes, I wish the Mets had held on to Pagan. I would like to know what crime he committed with the Mets that got his ticket punched out of town — I got the feeling last year that he got traded because the front office wanted him traded, and that can lead to a very bad trade being made. Consider where we are now. Pagan is the everyday centerfielder and lead-off hitter for a team playing in the championship series. The Mets are a team struggling to stay out of the basement. Word is that Torres will be non-tendered, and Ramirez pitched like a mediocre and not particularly reliable reliever. Not a pretty picture for Mets fans.

    • Just_da_damaja

      His crime = not getting along with a coach that has notoriously not gotten along with players in the past

  • Phil

    The good news is, even though the trade now looks bad for the Mets (though I do agree it seemed promising at the time it was executed), even if they had Pagan for 2012, it would not have made much of a difference in their final record. Pagan only had an OBP of .340 leading off, almost the same as a Tejada or whoever the Mets threw at the top of the lineup once Torres was demoted to the 7 hole (albeit with a bit more power and speed).

    • NateW

      His trade value in July of this year would have been quite a bit higher than it was when they traded him. Someone might have parted with a prospect to add him to their squad. Not a Zack Wheeler type, but maybe someone who could help.

  • metsman

    I can’t help but feel there is a little cache in the fact that Pagan is possibly the most physically gifted athlete ever to come out of our farm system…even if that doesn’t translate to being the most skilled baseball player.

    He’s exciting. He is a dynamic weapon to have on your club, for speed, for extra base pop, for defense, for base stealing, for match ups. Every bit worth a 3 year 16 million dollar deal, even as a supersub.

    I think Collins burned a good bridge; not completely irreplaceable, but not easily replaced. I challenge anyone to find a player with the same skillset and price; it’s almost like his shortcomings are just enough to keep him a really nice bargin.

  • Sam Maxwell

    I guess the bottom line is that Pagan did not play this way for us last season, making mental mistakes he should have figured out long ago. I’m sure he had his fair share of mistakes this year, but he obviously has played better and is excelling along with everyone else who are winning. Pagan was viewed as the past’s plan, and I guarantee you the front office has no regrets trading him. We all know what Pagan has in him, he just never did it enough with the Mets, and we were losing. Even though we still are, I doubt the collapse doesn’t happen if we have Pagan there instead. Ramirez doesn’t blow a couple crucial dodger games at Home while we are nosediving? I don’t know. This will all come together soon, and unfortunately, at this point, it doesn’t look like Pagan will be a part of that. Nor should he. He might win one this year with the Giants, and the Mets didn’t work for him same way he didn’t work for us.

  • Jujo

    This was another bad Alderson deal (he has a lot of them in a short period). Pagan was a large part of the offense the Mets had in 2009-2011. He did not want to leadoff and was nit the best fielder but he was a Met. If the Mets had kept him and given the 2 year $10 mil deal to Capuano, they would have had good seasons and been valuable trade chips at the deadline. Plus the Mets may have won 5-7 more games based on their WAR. I just think the Mets always goof when trading or letting go of “Met” type players like these. Look at what they got in return. Plus they payed Pelfrey 5.6 mil to be hurt. I would have non-tendered Pelfrey. So now instead of having a nice problem (a productive CF in Pagan) they have to guess with Captain Kirk cause Torres is gone, Kirk while showing promise seemed to get worse with more playing time. Above all else, Pagan and Capuano have the look of winners. The Mets? Not so much.

  • Disgruntled

    Agree with comment above that Alderson’s trades/free agency moves have not been good ones, overall. One exception was the Beltran for Wheeler deal, where everyone seems to agree that the Mets obtained a valuable pitching prospect. The other deals — not so much. I thought Pagan for Torres/Ramirez was a bad deal the day it was made. Francisco as the closer is/was a disaster. (Note: everyone on this board seems to think that Pelfrey will be non-tendered. Are you forgetting Collins’ comment during the season that Pelfrey could be an option in the closer role? I wonder what Pelfrey’s reaction to that comment was.) Letting Takehashi walk after a 10 win/6 save season was another mistake. So now we are re-building the bullpen (again). As much of a mess as the bullpen is, the outfield is the real disaster. The one thing I think we can count on is Bay being back, probably in a platoon or bench role, just based on salary alone (too expensive to cut). The rest of the OF is a real question mark. Hairston may not be back, I can’t see Duda in a full-time role based on his lack of progress. Fasten your seat belts, Met fans!