The San Francisco Giants have made it known that one of their current top priorities is to bring back free agent center fielder Angel Pagan. While the organization did not make Pagan a qualifying offer earlier in the offseason, they are nonetheless optimistic a deal can be worked out that brings the 31-year-old back in 2013 and beyond. Pagan, who made $4.8 million per Baseball Reference last season, is rumored to be looking for a contract that runs for at least three seasons.
It isn’t surprising that the defending champions would be interested in retaining Pagan’s services. The switch-hitter batted .288/.338/.440 in his first year with the Giants, producing a solid .334 wOBA and contributing 4.8 WAR in the process, sixth best among baseball’s qualifying center fielders.
These impressive numbers come after a somewhat disappointing 2011 season, in which Pagan posted just a .306 wOBA and 0.9 WAR in his final season with the Mets. At 31, we’ve probably already seen the best performances of Pagan’s career, and he doesn’t walk as often (7.4% career walk rate) as someone who spends the majority of his time in the leadoff spot should, but he has established himself as a capable hitter with the ability to play a premium defensive position. As long as the Giants don’t get carried away with the annual value, it’s hard to envision a three-year deal hurting them here.