2012 Offseason Giants Key Free Agents: To Sign Pagan and Scutaro?
Thursday November 29th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):
It is not an outrageous thought that the San Francisco Giants, coming off their second World Series title in three years would not have a problem signing two key free agents. Angel Pagan was a fixture at the top of the lineup throughout the year and played a big part in helping the Giants reach the playoffs and World Series. Marco Scutaro, a trade deadline acquisition, provided the Giants with the boost they needed to leave the Dodgers in the dust in the NL West. Not to mention, Scutaro caught fire in the NLCS against the Cardinals and wound up NLCS MVP. Signing both of these guys would most likely make the Giants favorites for a Wild Card at the least. It could be hard to compete with the Dodgers for the West after the blockbuster trade that they made with the Red Sox, but Scutaro and Pagan could help. So, how likely is it that both free agents sign with the Giants and return for 2013? Also, why has this team been so quiet in pursuing other Free Agents so far?
Unfortunately for most Giants fans, not very likely. I see the Giants signing one or the other. Angel Pagan, coming off a great season, will undoubtedly ask for more than he’s worth. The Giants also have highly regarded prospect Gary Brown waiting in the wings. He is suited to man centerfield for years to come. Pagan is probably looking for at least four years, and Brown will most likely be ready by late 2013 or 2014. Pagan would probably demand somewhere around $10-12 million per year. He has been a great fit for the top of the Giants lineup, setting the table for Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey. He led the league in triples and scored 95 runs, partially due to his great second half. Pagan’s speed is especially valuable in the spacious outfield of AT&T Park. Gary Brown also has great speed, so there will not be too much of a discrepancy in the defensive abilities once Brown is a Giant. What comes to my mind when I think about rewarding Pagan with a large contract is Aaron Rowand. The Giants made a huge mistake by giving Rowand a large contract after just one good year. Pagan, like Rowand at the time, has not had a streak of consecutive great years, so signing him for more than a few years could be risky.
Marco Scutaro is a more likely signing due to his versatility and his fabulous postseason. The Giants struck gold when they traded for Scutaro at the trade deadline. With the Giants, he hit a red-hot .362. He and Pagan both were responsible for Buster Posey winning the MVP. Without these two at the top of the order, Posey would not have had as many opportunities for RBIs. Scutaro in the playoffs was unbelievable. In the NLCS when he won his MVP, it seemed like the Cardinals could not get him out. Throughout the playoffs, Scutaro hit .328. Why I think the Giants would prefer to sign him over Pagan is mainly because of his ability to play second and short, even third (he spent some time here during Sandoval’s injury towards the end of the year). This is especially important when the Giants have Brandon Crawford as the starting shortstop, who is sometimes prone to slumps. A good deal for Scutaro would probably be three years in the $33-39 million range. This price might be a tad high as Scutaro is on the downside of his career, They maybe could get him on the low end $23-30 million. I also think he may only sign for two years because he is 37. Having said this, he does not cost you any players in a trade if you sign him and if you have to overpay him for a few years to compete with the Dodgers, then it is worth the risk.
Signing both integral parts of the 2012 team would be great, but I think the Giants have too much money tied up in pitching to be able to pay both. Keep in mind that the Giants also have Tim Lincecum’s contract to deal with in the next year.
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***Today’s feature was prepared by Bernie Olshansky, Baseball Writer & Facebook Administrator. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter (@BernieOlshansky)***
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Posted on November 29, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged 2012 world series, aaron rowand, angel pagan, baseball, brandon crawford, brian sabean, cardinals, dodgers, gary brown, Marco scutaro, mlb, nl mvp, nl west, NLCS MVP, pablo sandoval, pagan, tin lincecum, west, World. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.