In a flash the San Francisco Giants have made room in their 2012 outfield for a new center fielder and lead-off man, and traded a member of their high priced bullpen to lighten the 2012 payroll bottom line.
It was announced tonight that the Giants traded righty relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez and outfielder Andres Torres to the New York Mets for center fielder Angel Pagan. Pagan will bring a live bat and real speed to the lead-off spot in the Giants' batting order and allow the team to move recently acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera to right field.
These moves should finalize the Giants 2012 batting line-up and, on paper, can't help but improve the team's famously terrible run production-- in 2011 the Giants were second worst of 30 MLB teams in run scoring after the Seattle Mariners (570 runs/3.52 runs per game).
Thirty-year-old Angel Pagan was picked in the 4th round of the 1999 amateur draft by the New York Mets, and spent his first two big league seasons in 2006 and 2007 with the Chicago Cubs. Pagan rejoined the Mets in 2008, appearing in 151 games in 2010 and 123 games in 2011. In 2011 he started every game in center field, batting lead-off in 31 games and in the 5th slot in 56 games.
In six big league seasons, Pagan has averaged 151 hits, 30 2B, 10 HR, 79 RS, 63 RBI, and a stolen base average of 28-8. He also has a .331 OBP average and a .750 OPS.
Ramon Ramirez leaves the Giants after coming over from the Boston Red Sox in 2010 and helping to revitalize the bull pen, posting a 0.67 ERA in 25 games with a .889 WHIP. Ramirez followed that up with another great year in 2011, going 2.62ERA/66 games/1.16WHIP. After Andres Torres' stellar 2010 season ended with a World Series Championship, his production at the plate fell off dramatically in 2011.
The potential 2012 San Francisco Giants batting line-up should give National League pitchers something to think about for the first time in many years:
1. Angel Pagan CF
2. Freddy Sanchez 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
4. Melky Cabrera RF
5. Buster Posey C
6. Brandon Belt 1B
7. Aubrey Huff LF
8. Brandon Crawford SS
If the Giants can wrap up Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong in multi-year deals, the team's outstanding starting pitching could be solid for the next several years. And we can now officially call off the hunt for Carlos Beltran and focus on Opening Day 2012.