Skip to content

Angel Pagan goes from fringe regular to $40 million player

Dec 3, 2012, 4:47 PM EDT

Angel Pagan Getty Images

The Mets were strongly considering non-tendering Angel Pagan rather than pay him $5 million or so for 2012. Instead, they found a taker for him in the Giants, who sent back fellow center fielder Andres Torres and right-hander Ramon Ramirez. It proved to be a great deal for San Francisco, as Pagan proved key in the leadoff spot for the world champs. Meanwhile, the two players the Mets got in return aren’t expected back for 2013.

Pagan will be back with the Giants, of course, courtesy of the new four-year, $40 million deal he agreed to Monday. The 31-year-old’s annual salary will slightly top the $9.8 million he’s made the last three years combined.

For 2013, it seems like a worthy price. Pagan’s .288/.338/.440 line from last season matches up quite well with what he did in 2009 and ’10 before a disappointing 2011 campaign. Plus, Pagan is a fine center fielder, just a bit short of Gold Glove quality. He is a $10 million player right now.

On the other hand, it’s not at all likely that he’ll still be a $10 million player by the time 2015 and ’16 come around. At 31, Pagan should be just wrapping up his prime years now.

According to Baseball Reference, the 10 players most similar to Pagan through age 30 are Felix Jose, Roy Weatherly, Gene Moore, Alex Ochoa, Chris Singleton, Lee Maye, Johnny Grubb, Mitch Webster, Al Zarilla and Irv Noren.

Not one guy from that list was a quality regular from age 31 onwards. Grubb played eight more years and Maye and Webster lasted six more, but they were part-timers. Ochoa was all done in the majors by that age. The other nine averaged 1.7 WAR for the rest of their careers after age 31.

Perhaps that’s not the best list, though. How about this one. Pagan is one of 17 center fielders to post OPSs between .720-.780, hit fewer than 50 homers and steal more than 50 bases from ages 28-30 (Pagan had a .749 OPS, 26 HR and 98 SB from 28-30). Here’s how that group did from 31 onwards:

Matty Alou: .300/.339/.372, 100 OPS+ in 2,400 AB
Marvin Benard: .247/.290/.356, 71 OPS+ in 194 AB
Willie Davis: .288/.316/.425, 109 OPS+ in 3,534 AB
Steve Finley: .267/.333/.471, 106 OPS+ in 6,033 AB
Doug Glanville: .246/.281/.329, 60 OPS+ in 830 AB
Marquis Grissom: .264/.303/.416, 86 OPS+ in 3,817 AB
Ken Landreaux: .239/.295/.348, 78 OPS+ in 465 AB
Brian McRae: .218/.327/.360, 75 OPS+ in 403 AB
Amos Otis: .275/.339/.422, 109 OPS+ in 2,757 AB
Dode Paskert: .260/.340/.365, 107 OPS+ in 3,644 AB
Mickey Rivers: .304/.328/.392, 103 OPS+ in 1,719 AB
Burt Shotten: .260/.353/.320, 104 OPS+ in 2,045 AB
Roy Thomas: .265/.379/.319, 116 OPS+ in 2,266 AB
Milt Thompson: .256/.327/.359, 88 OPS+ in 1,731 AB
Cesar Tovar: .267/.329/.339, 93 OPS+ in 1,975 AB
Devon White: .272/.331/.435, 100 OPS+ in 3,232 AB

Now that’s a better list. I probably could have thrown out Thomas, Paskert and Shotton, all of whom played in the deadball era, but of the remaining 13, there are seven guys who remained pretty productive, depending on what you want your cutoff there to be. The Giants would certainly be pleased if Pagan aged like White.

Regardless, it may be worth paying Pagan $10 million to be a fourth or fifth outfielder in 2016 if he comes through again in 2013. Better if this contract had been a three-year deal, but at least he’s not overpaid immediately.

Latest Posts
  1. Thirteen-year minor league veteran gets his first big league hit

    Sep 23, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

    Guilder Rodriguez AP

    No matter what happens to him for the rest of his life, Guilder Rodriguez can say he was a major leaguer.

  2. Dan Haren made $10 million last night

    Sep 23, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Dan Haren Getty Images

    With 180 innings pitched, Dan Haren’s $10 million option kicked in.

  3. Adam Wainwright won his 20th game last night

    Sep 23, 2014, 9:10 AM EDT

    Adam Wainwright AP

    He has won 19 or 20 games four times in his last five seasons.

  4. John Schuerholz defines “The Braves Way.” And it’s a pretty big pile of crap.

    Sep 23, 2014, 8:40 AM EDT

    John Scheurholz AP

    Get your tall boots on, boys, because the Braves president is shoveling.

  5. And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 23, 2014, 6:29 AM EDT

    Danny Duffy Getty Images

    Twelve games, six shutouts. And the Mariners and Indians lose ground.

  6. Derek Jeter drives in a season-high three runs; Yankees throw one-hitter vs. Orioles

    Sep 22, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT

    3ea020a346eb30505f3f9de0bd59fcf8 Getty Images

    Jeter has caught fire with only days remaining in his career.

  7. Danny Duffy shines in return as Royals defeat Indians

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:23 PM EDT

    92a7251c57bb8cd184e01d32b5c505a0 Getty Images

    Danny Duffy tossed six scoreless innings in his return from left rotator cuff inflammation.

  8. Report: Sergio Romo and Giants coach Shawon Dunston were involved in a shouting match

    Sep 22, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT

    Sergio Romo Getty Getty Images

    Sergio Romo and Shawon Dunston “exchanged heated words with raised voices” before Bruce Bochy intervened.

  9. Matt Shoemaker’s chances of pitching this week are “very remote”

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:55 PM EDT

    Matt Shoemaker AP

    Shoemaker came out of nowhere to go 16-4 with a 3.07 ERA and 124/24 K/BB ratio in 136 innings as a 27-year-old rookie, including a 9-1 record and 1.49 ERA in 67 innings since late July.

  10. The Phillies held a private workout today for Cuban slugger Yasmani Tomas

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT

    yasmani tomas cuba getty Getty Images

    Tomas, 23, could reportedly command a $100 million contract.

  11. Report: Diamondbacks to name next general manager on Thursday

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT

    diamondbacks logo small

    Former major league pitcher and current player agent Dave Stewart is viewed as the overwhelming favorite for the job.

  12. Braves fired Frank Wren’s brother, too

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT

    Frank Wren AP

    Rough day for the Wren family.

  13. Orioles will use four starting pitchers during ALDS

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:29 PM EDT

    Buck Showalter Getty Getty Images

    Showalter hasn’t officially announced the specifics or order of his rotation yet, but it’s believed to be Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, and Bud Norris.

  14. Tyson Ross will miss his final start with a strained forearm

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

    In his first full season as a starter Ross finishes with a 2.81 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 196 innings.

  15. Indians defeat Royals after resuming suspended game from August 31

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT

    Scott Atchison Getty Getty Images

    The Royals made it interesting, but the Indians hung on for a 4-3 victory.

  16. Roenis Elias has a strained flexor bundle in his elbow

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT

    Roenis Elias AP

    In other words: He won’t be an option again this season even if the Mariners make a deep playoff run.

  17. Steve Pearce reports improvement in sore wrist

    Sep 22, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    Steve Pearce Getty Getty Images

    Pearce has been one of baseball’s biggest surprises this season, batting .297 with 20 home runs and .932 OPS over 98 games.

Featured video

Who's outside looking in on playoffs?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (2548)
  2. J. Hamilton (1964)
  3. M. Trout (1914)
  4. J. Heyward (1911)
  5. D. Ortiz (1868)
  1. J. Ellsbury (1809)
  2. S. Pearce (1791)
  3. C. Kershaw (1765)
  4. D. Jeter (1752)
  5. A. Pagan (1725)