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. World Series, Game 4: Royals vs. Giants lineups

    Oct 25, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT

    Ryan Vogelsong AP AP

    Jason Vargas vs. Ryan Vogelsong.

  2. David Wright says rehab from shoulder injury is going well

    Oct 25, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT

    David Wright AP AP

    Wright is expected to be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks and hopes to avoid surgery.

  3. Report: Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has discussed moving the team to Montreal

    Oct 25, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT

    tropicana field getty Getty Images

    Sternberg has reportedly had discussions “with wealthy Wall Street associates” about moving the Rays to Montreal.

  4. Pirates acquire Justin Sellers from Indians

    Oct 25, 2014, 12:29 PM EDT

    Justin Sellers Getty Getty Images

    The Pirates also designated right-handers John Axford and Jeanmar Gomez for assignment.

  5. Dave Dombrowski on Miguel Cabrera: “It’s worse than what we ever would have anticipated”

    Oct 25, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    Miguel Cabrera AP AP

    We learned yesterday that Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture to the navicular bone in his foot. Everyone was caught off guard by the extent of his injuries.

  6. Dave Martinez and Gabe Kapler among potential candidates for Rays manager

    Oct 25, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Rays logo

    After Joe Maddon stepped down as manager of the Rays yesterday, there was plenty of speculation about what his next move could be, but we didn’t hear much about who could replace him in Tampa Bay. Look for that to change soon.

  7. Statcast: Salvador Perez throws out Gregor Blanco on bunt attempt

    Oct 25, 2014, 10:16 AM EDT

    Salvador Perez Getty Getty Images

    Yes, it would have been closer had Blanco continued to run, but it was a heck of a play by Perez.

  8. Quote of the Day: Don’t mess with Ned Yost’s plan

    Oct 25, 2014, 9:35 AM EDT

    Ned Yost AP AP

    Ned Yost was hoping that Jarrod Dyson made an out last night. Really.

  9. World Series Reset: Can the Giants even things up?

    Oct 25, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT

    c76bb460a9b91549e3f0fb195b8dd86b AP

    After losing Game 1, the Royals have responded with two straight victories to grab a lead in the series. Can the Giants answer? That’s the big question going into Game 4.

  10. Bruce Bochy sticking with Ryan Vogelsong to start Game 4 of the World Series

    Oct 24, 2014, 11:51 PM EDT

    Ryan Vogelsong Ryan Vogelsong

    Ryan Vogelsong will start as scheduled in Game 4 of the World Series against the Royals. Madison Bumgarner will not pitch on short rest.

  11. Behind strong bullpen, Royals edge Giants 3-2 to take a 2-1 World Series lead

    Oct 24, 2014, 11:27 PM EDT

    The Royals’ bullpen was solid, allowing only two base runners in four innings to preserve Jeremy Guthrie’s win in Game 3 of the World Series against the Giants.

  12. It’s official: Brandon Finnegan the first to play in two World Series in one year

    Oct 24, 2014, 11:02 PM EDT

    Brandon Finnegan Brandon Finnegan

    Brandon Finnegan achieved a rather rare feat with his first appearance of the World Series in Game 3 on Friday night against the Giants.

  13. Cole Hamels updating his 20-team no-trade list

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT

    Cole Hamels Cole Hamels

    Cole Hamels is updating his 20-team no-trade list, which will dictate if and how the Phillies shop him over the off-season.

  14. Giants strike back with two runs, trail 3-2 going into the seventh

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:22 PM EDT

    Michael Morse Michael Morse

    The Giants fought back in the bottom of the sixth inning with two runs, making it a one-run game again. The Royals lead 3-2 heading into the seventh inning.

  15. Royals add on, lead Giants 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Alex Gordon Getty Images

    The Royals extended their lead over the Giants to 3-0 thanks to an Alex Gordon RBI double and an Eric Hosmer RBI single in the top of the sixth inning of Game 3 of the World Series.

  16. Twins expected to contact Joe Maddon about managerial vacancy

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT

    Joe Maddon Getty Images

    The Twins are expected to consider free agent manager Joe Maddon for their managerial vacancy.

  17. Through three innings of World Series Game 3, Royals lead Giants 1-0

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:08 PM EDT

    Jeremy Guthrie Jeremy Guthrie

    The Royals have a narrow lead through the first three innings of Game 3 of the World Series against the Giants.

  18. Victor Martinez expected to pursue a four-year deal

    Oct 24, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Victor Martinez Victor Martinez

    Victor Martinez is going to use his monster 2014 season to attempt to get a four-year deal over the off-season.

  19. Bruce Bochy, Dave Righetti have discussed using Madison Bumgarner on short rest if Giants lose Game 3

    Oct 24, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT

    Madison Bumgarner Madison Bumgarner

    The Giants have kicked around the idea of using Madison Bumgarner on short rest if they lose Game 3 of the World Series against the Royals.

Featured video

When home-field advantage isn't so
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. T. Lincecum (3179)
  2. M. Bumgarner (2845)
  3. M. Morse (2550)
  4. J. Shields (2282)
  5. Y. Cespedes (2107)
  1. H. Pence (1561)
  2. L. Cain (1528)
  3. A. Wainwright (1527)
  4. T. Ishikawa (1522)
  5. U. Jimenez (1520)