That almost might be the most important part of signing Angel Pagan: Not getting Shane Victorino.
This is not to minimize Pagan. Pagan was an important part of the championship team, and him getting hot at the right time late in the season helped get to the playoffs, almost as much as Buster Posey’s 2nd half. His leadoff home run in Game 4 of the NLDS is a forgotten and important moment: the first lead in the playoffs other than a last-second win in Game 3.
But it means no Shane Victorino. There might be uses to him as a player, and as a baseball move, but there are few players not named Mat Latos that us fans don’t like. I can’t even tell you why, but geeze I don’t like him. Even Dodger fans hate him, and he finished the year as a Dodger. How did he end up getting more money per year than Angel Pagan? Boy, I’m starting to think Theo Epstein was the brains of the Boston Red Sox organization.
And, late yesterday, it became known Marco Scutaro is coming back. 3 years, $20 million.
My feelings on both deals can be summed up like this: I’m glad both players are back. Both contracts are about 20% more expensive per year than I’d like, and both contracts are a year too long. But if that’s what it takes, it’s what it takes. Neither contract is an albatross like Aaron Rowand. Scutaro would be a capable backup in a couple of years if he falls off as expected.
The interesting side of the Pagan deal is Gary Brown. He had a disappointing year in AA, but he’s still one of the top prospects in the system. He should be ready before 2016. Perhaps this is why the Giants are dismissing the very likable prospect of signing Nick Swisher, whom had a recent rumor that said he wants to come to San Francisco. It’s because in two-three years, perhaps they worry that Pagan’s legs will make him a left fielder as Brown comes up.
Those details aside, it’s been a good Winter Meetings. Not great. Definitely not surprisingly. But definitely, definitely good.