In 2010, both Angel Pagan and Andres Torres had huge seasons. While Torres was still about average last season, Pagan had a poor year. However, he is a bounce-back candidate whose defense took a huge drop last season. He was still about average at the plate, despite a BABIP that was below his career average. The Mets shipped Pagan to the Giants for Torres and their third new reliever; Ramon Ramirez.
Ramirez is a solid reliever who should be a set-up man for the Mets next season, and there really is no need to go into much depth when talking about him in this trade. He had a 2.94 FIP last season, and he has had an ERA under 3.00 during the past four seasons of his career. He is merely an added piece in this deal, but he is still an important piece, especially to a team who previously had no high-end relievers.
Angel Pagan may have the most paradoxical name in history, but he does posses a solid bat and was a good defensive outfielder before the 2011 season. For some reason, the advanced metrics rated him as being horrible, but the metrics are known to be unreliable for just one season. Still, it’s tough to do a complete 180 defensively from season-to-season, and the eye test says that Pagan was indeed poor in the outfield last season. I really think this is an anomaly, but it should be noted that Pagan turned 30 in July. He hasn’t undergone some sudden decline, and I expect him to post respectable, if unspectacular, defensive numbers.
As far as hitting goes, Pagan was actually more disciplined, as he cut down on his strikeout rate and chased less pitches out of the zone. He did see less pitches in the zone, and Pagan also improved his contact rate from 86.9% to 89.8% in 2011. The reasons why his wRC+ dropped from 113 to 99 have to do with a decreased BABIP and a lower ISO. He suffered a minor power outage last season, and this bumped him from an above-average hitter to a mediocre one. He should be decent at the plate (105 wRC+), and he also provides good value on the bases with another 30-steal season.
Using the Simple WAR Calculator created by Lewie Pollis and Bill James’s projections, I will try to calculate Pagan’s value in 2012. Granted, the projections aren’t the most scientific out there and are mainly meant for amusement; this value calculation is also meant for amusement. BIS’s projections are usually right in line, unless if they are for second-year players (they are always way too bullish).
According to the projections and this new and simple WAR Calculator, Angel Pagan should be worth 2.2 WAR in 2012. A Marcel weighted projection using just WAR would have him at around 2.8 WAR, and this is mainly thanks to his terrific 2010 season (5.5 WAR). I think it’s safe to say that Pagan will be worth around 2.5 WAR next season, and really most like somewhere closer to 3.
Andres Torres will turn 34 in January, but he is the safer bet to produce in the short-term. After a crazy 6.8 WAR season in 2010, Torres was still solid and was worth 2.1 WAR in 2011. His wRC+ decreased sharply from a mark of 126 to 85, and this was mainly due to an almost total power-outage (.211 ISO to .109 ISO). He wasn’t quite as unstoppable in the outfield, but he was still great out there in center with an 8.7 UZR.
Torres did chase more pitches last season, and he swung at less pitches in the zone. He did improve on his contact, but the strikeouts went up, and pitchers correctly chose to leave more pitches out of the zone against Torres. Usually a CF who is death to fastballs, he struggled last season against the most common pitch in the Majors. He did have less swinging strikes, and this means that he’s likely to have plate discipline numbers that are around his career averages.
I will once again use the projected 2012 statistics for Andres Torres using Baseball Info Solution’s projected numbers, as well as the much-loved Simple WAR Calculator at Wahoo’s On First. Torres is projected to be worth a slightly-better 2.6 WAR, and that’s really about where he is value-wise. The deal looks like a good one for both parties, but it favors the Mets due to the addition of a solid reliever who is the best one of the three which the team recently acquired.