Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Giants trade for CF Angel Pagan for Torres and Ramirez

The Giants have traded Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez to the Mets for CF Angel Pagan.  Reports from Baggerly and Shea.  The deal is not officially announced yet, there are physicals to do, and so it probably won't become official until later this week.

The Giants appear to be close to another deal with an AL club, possibly involving Jeff Keppinger, which makes sense since his value is really as a hitter, not a defensive fielder.

Giants Thoughts

First off, thank you to Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez for their roles in helping us win our 2010 World Championship.

That said, Torres wasn't much use to us last season after May, he was pretty messed up because of he needed an adjustment of his medicine and they couldn't apparently get it right.  Meanwhile, Ramirez was of pretty good use to us, and is the value in this trade from the Mets perspective, because Pagan had a down year as well.

Thinking of this from a statistical standpoint, each team traded one type of risk for another, in order to lessen the risk of another kind.  Basically the standard deviation of what one can expect offensively is better for Pagan, I think, while for defense, Torres is better.

The Mets wanted a better defensive player, which Torres is, much better than Pagan, who was -1 Defensive Runs Saved in 2011 (Torres was +4 overall, +3 in CF in about 30% less innings than Pagan), plus there is the potential that Torres might return to his 2010 form, getting them a double boost, as then he would be a similar offensive player as Pagan plus provides good defense.  Plus they add a great reliever to boot.  Risk but reward too.

The Giants did not get that great a defensive player (but I think their defensive schemes that they do apparently help players at least a bit as Burrell somehow was a valuable defensive LF for the Giants in 2010) in Pagan, and offensively he is not as good as Torres was in 2010, but he is more likely to be a better hitter, having a better history plus his one down year, last year, was plagued by injuries from beginning to end, starting with oblique problems in the first month of the season, to back spasms mid-season, to a head injury that kept him out at the end of the season.  Plus he is two years younger than Torres.  And he is also a switch-hitter like Torres, and hits better against RHP and only OK against LHP.

Looks like they got another mix and match player in Pagan, who has played a lot of games at all three OF positions, and is especially valuable batting against RHP, and is about average defensively in CF (at least he was in 2011, and he was injured during parts of the season).  They save money in the deal, it is believed, plus can expect a certain level of offense from Pagan, whereas Torres, who knows when he'll be OK with his ADHD medicine dosage.

Pagan's main problem in 2011 appears to be two fold.  First his BABIP fell 50 points from the prior 3 seasons and was 30 points below his career average.  Second was his drop in ISO, about 30 points below average.  Together that took about 60-90 points off his OPS, which would have put him in the mid-to-high 700 OPS range.  Presuming that it was the injuries that caused a lot of that, plus I read a note somewhere that he's working hard on his conditioning during this off-season because he don't want a repeat of 2011, he looks like a good bet to rebound, especially since his contact rate is pretty good and his walk rate is OK, suggesting that 2011 was just a case of the BABIP ball bouncing into mitts more often than usual for Pagan.

It certainly solidifies our OF, now Bochy can mix and match Melky and Angel in CF, plus they will probably see time in the corner sometimes too, depending on who is hot or not, giving us insurance if Schierholtz does not perform as hoped in RF or if Belt or Huff does not perform as hoped in LF.  Speaking of Belt, this still keeps the door open for him to take LF or 1B starting if he comes out blazing, as then Melky, Angel, and Nate would probably be mixing and matching CF and RF, plus Belt will probably sit some games against LHP anyway, both to avoid since he has not figured them out plus to get other guys into games too.

This is a good move offensively, plus opens a spot in the bullpen to either acquire someone, as perhaps the Giants see another reclamation project out there (oh, this opens up a 40 man spot), like they did Santiago Casilla a couple of years ago, or maybe there is some prospects they want to look at in spring, not sure how guys did in AFL, or even one of the other winter leagues.  And there is the savings of probably $1-2M, and getting a younger player to boot.  All in all a nice move, which becomes great if Pagan is like he was in 2009-2010, and given that he's healthy and getting himself into shape, that's a good bet.

24 comments:

  1. Good analysis; but I think Pagan is not two but three-and-a-half years younger than Torres, a difference of age that I take to be significant in predicting performance. Also, Pagan had an excellent range factor in the outfield before he was, as you note, variously injured in 2011. The trade removes any felt need to re-up Ross, so that the Giants can focus on their real need for an infielder who bats right handed, and perhaps have extra funds to commit to such a player.

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  2. Thank you for pointing that out campanari, that is even a bigger point to the plus of the trade for us, somehow I was in 2010 again and Torres was only 32. :^)

    At 34 for next season, Torres is already at the age where players start regressing.

    And thanks for noting Pagan's defense, I admit I was rushing a bit on this one. I see from Baseball-Reference that he has been relatively good in CF fielding, roughly half a win defense there overall, including his poor 2011 season. That indicates further evidence that he was hampered by his injury in how he fielded, plus I would think that affected the way he hit as well. He should be fine if healthy.

    Lastly, about Ross, I don't think that removes the need to re-up Ross, but Baggarly makes the good point that Ross, should he get to the position where he's even thinking of going to the Giants, means he is desperate for a job that will let him show off something good in order to get a good contract next off-season, and there has to be better situations for him elsewhere, I would think.

    Regarding an infielder who can hit RH, is there even one left worth looking at in free agency? And I don't know who else we can trade to get one. I would think that either non-tenders or a trade could do it.

    Also, Burriss has actually hit pretty OK against LHP in 2008 and 2009, so I would be OK with him as our RH MI utility guy.

    I would save the funds for any nice upside pickups in January, like a starting pitcher to battle for #5 with Zito or a 5th OF.

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  3. DrB has a nice post on the trade at his site. He says that Pagan will almost certainly be the Giants starting CF with Melky moving to LF, which dominoes to Huff at 1B and Belt to Fresno.

    He also likes Pagan for being more likely to repeat his good performance.

    I also love his astute note about "WAR is just a bit too dependent on the whims of UZR."

    He also runs down people who might replace Ramirez in the bullpen.

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  4. OGC - I am very happy with both these trades as Sabean has successfully avoided Crisp and Dejesus to MULTI YEAR deals. I have admired both guys all last year and am impressed with the Giants for grabbing relatively young players with upside, speed and good defense. It does hurt to lose Torres, but I think that's my sentimental attachment more than logic. The Giants really didn't know what to expect from him.

    One thing lost in the shuffle is Pagan has a better arm than Torres. You'll read some stuff about airmailing throws, going to the wrong base and the errors, but I think that's just a bit of hype. He's a very good OF. Not to Torres level in range though. But worth the trade off in age and the more consistent bat. He is a very good baserunner with a nice SB/CS ratio. How the Giants handle him may effect that a bit, I think they need to tighten up that aspect of their game.

    I think its so long Cody, but I think this helps the Giants with any last ditch effort with Beltran actually. I'm not worried either way, but if his market doesn't develop the way he wants, the Giants have filled their end of the bargain that he asked for: improved top of the order, and with a player he's very familiar with.

    At DrB's someone suggested Renteria as that RH caddy. I like that idea actually, don't know if the pride will cave on either side. Maybe another trade though...

    I thought this FA market wasn't the best move, trades were the way to go. I think Sabean improved the BA/OBP and range side of the OF. Way too early to see how it shakes out with NTG and BB. That'll be a spring training performance issue.

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  5. I didn't discuss possible implications for the lineup. DrB noted that Pagan would be leadoff and Melky would move down the lineup.

    Even in a down year, Pagan still got on-base at a .322 clip. Just reverting to his .279 career BA would push his OBP up to a nice .339, which would be slightly above average for leadoff in the NL in 2011. And in his 3 years with the Mets before, he batted .294/.344/.441/.785, so there is some upside to him.

    Given his success batting 2nd last season, Bochy might bat Melky there and move Franchez down, like 3rd, which Bochy has done before. Then Posey bats 4th, Sandoval bats 5th, Huff 6th, Schierholtz 7th and the SS 8th (Crawford so far). He could also flop Huff to 3rd, Franchez to 6th.

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  6. Off topic note: news is also that Pat Burrell is hoping to join the Giants organization in some sort of post-career capacity (reported by Chronicle's Shea). Not just fond of the Giants as Shea reports, Burrell grew up a Giants fan and lived the fans' dream when he helped them win their 2010 World Championship.

    I see some talk about him as a batting instructor, because of his walks, which is why I hate Moneyball, people think OBP is the be-all and end-all of hitter evaluation, overlooking the fact that Burrell struck a hell of a lot out as well, which contributes zero to the offense.

    But I like Burrell, and I do think he is a good hitter, despite my comment above, so whatever role he plays for the Giants would be good, I think.

    Since he's a South Bay guy, maybe he'll help out the San Jose Giants before the A's kick them out (our Phoenix Giants got kicked out when D-backs came into town).

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  7. OGC - hopefully yes Franchez is moved to the 7th spot. It makes too much sense - split up the lefties, put somebody who is maybe a bit more patient up there, etc.

    PTB - 3 true outcomes is a nice option to have. You need your hackers as well. Just a different approach. Don't need no team wide philosophy.

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  8. I was looking at Tom Tango's Fans Scouting Reports and he scored well in 2010 with excellent marks for range and routes to the ball.

    Last year he lost some of those high marks in range and routes to the ball but not too much. The big drop off appeared to be his arm which could be effected by the types of injuries that he had.

    I think that he is probably an average defender in CF and if he is healthy could be a bit above average. He could do well with the range that he covers and I don't think his arm will hurt the team too much because it isn't like Torres had a particularly strong arm.

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  9. Shankbone, I saw how Bochy handled Dave Roberts in SD, if he has a guy who can use his speed to advantage, Bochy will use him. And if Roberto Kelly can help him tighten up his base stealing technique, then Pagan will that much more dangerous a leadoff hitter: get onbase a lot, steal a lot, got some pop in the bat that can drive in runs from there as well, and he probably plays good defense in CF (just not as good as Torres) to boot.

    Yeah, I have to agree that this makes the team more attractive to Beltran now, especially if Pagan was a buddy (and he's buddy with Pablo already). Signing him, though, probably means Nate is back to his 4th OF role, and given how poorly Beltran played RF in 2011, the OF in that situation should shake out to Beltran in LF, Pagan in CF, and Melky in RF.

    God, what a lineup that would be:

    Pagan
    Cabrera
    Beltran
    Posey
    Sandoval
    Huff
    Franchez
    Crawford

    And if Huff can return to just averageness at 1B, we could have an above average offense to go with our above average pitching.

    I have seen a lot of people worry about Lincecum wanting out because of our offense, but I want to make the point that now is not then, when that time comes, I expect Brown, Panik, and Belt to be a part of that offense, making it a very good offense, one worthy of Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner.

    Yeah, Renteria would be an inspired signing for RH caddy, I like that too. I don't think pride will factor in as much as the money, honestly, Renteria will smile a big smile about his coming back if he gets the Dead President package.

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  10. Also if the Giants don't go the scrap heap route that could mean bringing back Mota or potentially bringing up Heath Hembree.

    I think Hembree is not a bad option, it would give him a lower pressure role where he is the 4th right handed pitcher out of the pen so he can get used to facing major league hitters and it would allow him to get comfortable as he is groomed to take over for Wilson down the road.

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  11. And thanks for commenting Shankbone, I've greatly enjoyed our conversations, they are great discussions, much appreciated.

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  12. thanks for your comments Scott.

    Great info on his fielding, muchos gracias! Yeah, he had an oblique injury, I would think that would greatly affect his throwing. I think you pegged it right, average defender at minimum, a bit above average otherwise. And I think you are right, I recall someone on DrB's mentioning Torres arm not being the greatest either.

    Yes, Mota could be back and Hembree could be an option. Good points about the positives if Hembree was that guy, the more I think about that, the more it makes sense, as I do view him as the heir apparent once Wilson goes free agent (or the Giants trade him). And he had great stats in 2011, and even improved his walk rate slightly moving up to AA. You make a lot of great points.

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  13. Giants officially announce the deal and it appears that there is a player to be named later or cash due the Giants from the Mets. So that probably means that there is a bucket of players the Giants can chose from and they have some time to decide who.

    It could also mean a player who was drafted in the last draft, as they cannot be traded for a year after they signed, and thus are designated a PTBNL in order to circumvent that rule.

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  14. I didn't discuss this here, but on Fangraphs, but just because this deal is done does not preclude the Giants signing Beltran.

    Most of the explanations I've seen is that there is not enough money. But that was already true when Sabean originally expressed interest in Beltran, either way, in any case, the Giants were going to have to dip into their rainy day fund.

    The way I see it, they will keep checking in on Beltran and see where he is at. I think the gating point is how many years he's going to get. I think the Giants were willing to go 2 years plus team option, but Beltran is looking for more. If that interest was there for that many years, I think we would have heard more about that possibility plus the Giants would have officially dropped out, much like they did Molina the previous off-season.

    Instead, rumors about him has been pretty much nil. I think his agent wants to wait out the other big money free agents - Fielder, Pujols, Rollins (though rumors says that he's close to returning to Phillies) - as the losers in those pursuits might then pursue Beltran as the consolation prize. Still, if anyone was that interested in him, they would push it now and tempt him with a longer team deal. But so far nil.

    However, Baggerly in his post on this deal says that Bochy said our OF is "pretty set".

    For wiggle room, though, pretty set is not the same as "we're all done".

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  15. PTBNL? Hells yeah. Bout time Sabean gets a throw in for us instead of going the other way.

    Mota is coming back according to Baggs. Hembree is not far away. That Fresno team is going to be pretty stacked, and an absolute juggernaut if Belt does go down.

    I'd love to see Bochy handle a guy more like Dave Roberts - who had a lot of skill at basestealing. We have had mixed results with Torres, Ford, Burriss. Too eager, too obvious in the situation, I don't know. Hate to say it, but Davey Lopes is a great coach, he hooked the Phillies up with knowledge and I think he's the biggest reason for Kemp's turning it up five notches. I know Bam-Bam gets a lot of heat for the hitting, but maybe Kelly could do a little better with the baserunning.

    One thing Sabean has touched on is getting younger, faster and more athletic. In baseball that can get screwed up if they're not great hitters, but I think he's improved on those aspects with these trades.

    Well now, according to Baggs Renteria's agent reached out. No pride problem on his side. Now Sabean might have a problem... But at 1MM or so, Rento can be a nice cheap caddy, and he can play 2nd just fine too. It looks like they're intent on bringing Burriss back, which i like except for the small fact he really hasn't been able to hit. The Hobbit might be on the cusp of DFA/trade if that's the case.

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  16. http://blogs.mercurynews.com/extrabaggs/2011/12/07/with-angel-pagan-deal-official-giants-turn-away-from-beltran-ross-plus-guillermo-mota-close-to-re-signing-edgar-renterias-agent-reaches-out-etc/

    Other info from that great post, Baggarly is usually early, often, impactful infomration.

    Sounds like right now Bochy is open minded as to what the lineup might look like eventually, see how things play out in spring. Nate has to win the RF job, but I assume if Belt out does Nate, he probably makes the lineup, pushing Nate to 4th OF status again.

    The article noted that the Giants prefer to play Belt at 1B so that he is most comfortable and thus can concentrate on his hitting. So even with this deal, expect to see Huff playing LF a lot.

    BIG and good news: Bochy said that Brandon Crawford is "our shortstop".

    They are still looking for a right-handed complement, though the other news on that is that Emmanuel Burriss will be on the team and play SS as well. Plus there is Mike Fontenot as well.

    Apparently, Shankbone, Renteria's agent has reached out to the Giants and said that he would be happy to return, but I realized that after Edgar publicly humiliated the Giants with his insulted feelings over the Giants offer last year, I don't see Sabean as the type to let bygones be bygones, at least not yet.

    Apparently the Giants are close to signing Mota for 2012, and could sign a minor league deal so that they can stash him and not be forced to use a 40 man spot on him until they have to next season, though this trade opens up a spot.

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  17. Same post! I love Mota, he's a good guy to have around to burn innings up. With Rento, I bet Sabean could sooth that over if he wanted, but we both had the same gut reaction to Edgar and his agent, so its a long shot.

    OGC where's the link to the PTBNL? Couldn't fine it.

    Jroll back to Phils, that will make a Furcal stampede between the Brewers and the Cards imminent I think. Gonzalez may become the 2nd trophy on that, pushing his value up a bit. I'm happy for the confidence in Crawford, and I think he'll surprise a little.

    One more trade for Keppinger definitely, but I wouldn't be surprised for a MI trade as well. Interesting to see the confidence in Burriss though, I assumed he'd be a non-tender due to the 800K salary. Hey, he is fast, I'll give him that, and he's learning to field all over the place. We can't have him hitting anywheres but 8th though, and even that is a stretch unless he pulls a miracle out of the bag.

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  18. Shankbone, I don't know that the Giants can't keep Fontenot and Burriss, plus another MI. One backup catcher, plus Pill could play 1B and LF in a pinch.

    Meanwhile, OF is Melky, Pagan, Schierholtz, plus Huff can shift there as needed, plus Pill, and I think Burriss has played some OF as well.

    To me, Burriss problem is not that he can't hit, it is that he can't walk enough nor hit for any power. His strikeout rate is one that indicates that he knows how to hit, as he can avoid the strikeouts, but his main problem is being unable to take the walks (like how he did his first season with us) and hitting for power (which is what drove Carney Lansford crazy and drove him away from his boyhood team).

    Unfortunately, to me, he is hitting like how all fast runners are taught, to slap at the ball and get it into play, like Torres used to do. Torres learned the proper way to hit, which taught him to hit with more power, a la Ted Williams Science of Hitting instruction.

    Lansford says that Burriss has the strong forearms to be able to convert into line drives. But he has no power due to his improper batting technique. He needs to be turned on to the Giants visual training aid that Belt used to improve his swing, and learn to properly hit, ideally.

    The way he strikes out, he should be hitting in the high 200's, 280-290, easily, which with a modicum of walks would boost his OBP to acceptable levels. Plus with just even average power, 100 ISO or so, that would make him an OK player on the fringes of starting for the right team, with a mid-700 OPS. Against LHP in 2008-9, he hit roughly .700 OPS with a .340-ish OBP, so the potential is there with a slight tweak for him to be a really good platoon partner against LHP.

    I think that is what frustrated Lansford so much, that Burriss has obviously good zone discipline (he was basically at 90% contact in two of his three seasons) but obviates that by not being willing to swing for more power. He is not that far from being a starting 2B somewhere in the majors with his great defense and good contact skills, but the key missing piece is the ISO, which is awful, like pitchers' awful.

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  19. Oops, didn't finish my thought :^)

    So that means that the Giants could carry three MI types on the bench.

    Good point about PTBNL, it is not in the official press release by the Giants, but I subscribe to the Giants news feed and got an e-mail from them that explains this, so I had assumed it would be in the official press release, but it isn't.

    I know that I could have just created this, but here is the cut statement from the e-mail I got from the Giants:

    "Giants acquire outfielder Angel Pagan and player to be named later or cash from Mets

    The San Francisco Giants have acquired outfielder Angel Pagan and a player to be named later or cash from the New York Mets in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ramon Ramirez and outfielder Andres Torres, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today."

    I swear I got this in an e-mail from the Giants, maybe someone else can let me know if they got a similar one, at 13:50 PM PST.

    Oh, OK, here is the official Giants press release that announces it:

    http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111207&content_id=26115058&vkey=pr_sf&c_id=sf

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  20. Thanks OGC. I trust ya, I just didn't see it. Baggs finally picked it up as well. Good eye. As I said before, bout time Sabean got us the throw-in. I like the trade even more now.

    Those are very good points about Burriss. He is a tough one for me, I go and look at the first 1-2 years and wonder whats been going wrong. You have the multiple foot injuries, and the fact he still has his speed after that shows a lot of determination. He seems like he has a good frame, so that shouldn't be the problem. He is one of the nicest guys, I really like him, so I want to root for him. I just get impatient with him. He shows flashes - had a really nice hot streak early. But only 1 double. He has to get the ball to the gap, etc. I know that the Giants showing this much patience with him means they really see something. I just hope it shows up sooner than later.

    The slappy technique instead of the Williams technique - I've joked that Burriss should take lessons from Jamey Carroll and learn how to be a pest. I like getting adjusted on the lines of Torres a lot better.

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  21. One of the things that Ron Shandler notes about a player's year is that sometimes a poor starting month (or conversely a great one) masks how well (or poor) he was the rest of the season. Fred Lewis was a good example of that, that is why people were still gasping over his high OBP, but missing that he had been relatively useless as a hitter, particularly a lead-off hitter, for two months.

    I think that is what happened to Pagan's 2011.

    In April, he only hit .159/.259/.246/.506, with a BABIP of only .164, which is less than half his normal career BABIP.

    However, his plate discipline was still his normal good, actually, it probably was better, as he had 9 walks to 9 strikeouts, with a 87% contact rate, which is good. He was just having a bad patch but the BABIP gods were punishing him good that month.

    Then he had his oblique problem, taking him out a while.

    When he returned at the end of May, he was actually pretty hot for while, hitting .325/.398/.444/.843, BABIP of .349, which is within career norms, before getting cold again.

    But my point is that overall, if you drop his poor April, here is his season's stats, remembering he missed a whole month of playing in Apr/May:

    .279/.333/.394/.727, with a BABIP of .306, and 87% contact rate with 35 BB vs. 53 SO, which is an OK ratio, almost 70%.

    What this demonstrates is that he was pretty much himself during the 2011 season, outside of his very poor April, which clearly was just a bad month.

    And basically, he had two bad months in 2011, July was pretty bad too, but then Aug/Sept was pretty much normal Pagan: .297/.343/.422/.765, BABIP .338, contact rate 85% and roughly 0.50 BB/SO ratio, ISO 125.

    I think these are just further evidence that Pagan just had a bad year, and at least he ended the season playing like he normally does.

    There are reports that he felt that he went into 2011 out of shape, and thus is working this off-season to get into condition, maybe he lost his legs in July until he got back into good enough shape for Aug/Sept.

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  22. To clarify those last thoughts, it was further evidence that Pagan just had bad luck affecting his overall year's results, that his core peripherals for a hitter was still intact (his contact rate and BB/K ratio) and thus he should revert back to his normal self in 2012, with the caveat that AT&T acted largely like a severe pitcher's park in 2011, after many years of the park playing neutral-ish, and actually was a bit of a hitter's park, per Bill James' park factors. in other words, bad BABIP sunk his overall 2011 results (in addition to missing roughly 6 weeks of games where, had he played, he could have hit his normal self and improve his overall numbers), but he was clearly himself at the end of the season, no matter how you want to slice it.

    And no matter what age, it should always help a hitter to get into better conditioning during the off-season, that can only help how he does in the following season, whether hitter (Huff, Sandoval) or pitcher (Lincecum).

    I think basically he lucked out in 2009, but then got the balancing bad luck in 2011, sandwiched around his talent level in 2010. From 2009-2011, he hit .284/.336/.422/.758 with a 85% contact rate, and roughly 0.5 BB/K ratio, which is OK. I would take that out of CF in 2012, plus roughly 30-40 SB, and better than average defense.

    I am getting more and more pumped up about this acquisition,

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  23. I play roto baseball, nerd that I am. Pagan was a disaster to start the season with fairly high expectations. I picked him up for free halfway through and he put up some pretty good numbers in that light. In addition, I had Melky on my watch list all year. I kept expecting, like everybody with Vogelsong, regression! It didn't come. I saw a lot of highlights with Melky, he looked good, but didn't watch games with the royals.

    I also follow the Mets closely, habit of living back there for years and lots of friends who are Mets fans. This stuff coming out about bad clubhouse guy, airmailing throws, sloppy baserunning... I'm not totally buying that. Big media reporters love to bash on the way out. From the games I saw he was a good OF, I have seen some poor decisions, but I've seen that from a lot of players. I saw plenty of good vibes on a losing squad towards him, especially when he started hitting. So who knows on that front. I like him as a player, he has potential, just like Melky.

    Its very hard for me to criticize Torres, and I especially don't want to now. He had a lot of trouble with curveballs, high fastballs and never truly utilized his speed properly as far as SBs and some instinctive take the base and put pressure on the defense. We are going to miss his speed getting to deeply driven balls though. If he recovers to his previous level he is a better player than Pagan, but the odds are stacked heavily against him. I wish him well, especially against the Phils and Marlins. Throw in the Braves for good measure!

    I think our Beltran dreams last embers are getting doused. Sabean is pretty plainly saying no way no how on any more money. Cue the greek chorus! I'm looking at #18 and #55 for my opinion to form.

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  24. Yup, deleted my own post about Pagan and Melky. Butterfingers. Not a big deal. I'm excited about both acquisitions. Its hard to pull off blockbusters when you're sweating bringing back your aces. I'm looking at what Buehrle and Wilson are getting, two guys who are good but not great pitchers and holding my breath. If both guys wanted Zito numbers I'd say go for it.

    So it boils down to minor league invites now, and waiting out some contract nerves. Sort of a let down, but I think the moves made are pretty good. As long as our pitching gets signed.

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