But with pitchers and catchers due to report in just a few weeks, we thought we’d wind up 2012 by updating fans on the Giants’ most recent roster moves and where the team roster stands, as of now.
Obviously, the biggest offseason move since our last blog post was the re-signing of 2B Marco Scutaro to a three-year, $20 million deal.
Then they brought back fan favorite Andres Torres on a one-year, $2 million deal to presumably split time in left field with Gregor Blanco. Torres, a switch-hitter, always was better from the right side of the plate.
Then they locked up reliever Santiago Casilla to a three-year, $15 million deal. Casilla, 32, was eligible for arbitration for a final time this offseason.
Veteran right-handed pitcher Chad Gaudin signed a minor-league deal with the Giants. Gaudin was 4-2 with 4.54 ERA in 46 games for the Marlins last year. Gaudin becomes a candidate to fill the long reliever spot in the bullpen, but also could be a spot starter, something the Giants current roster is lacking.
The Giants also claimed 27-year-old relief pitcher Sandy Rosario off waivers. Rosario, who pitched for the Marlins last season, was claimed off waivers or acquired by trade by the Red Sox, A’s, Red Sox (again), Cubs and finally the Giants — all since Oct. 17.
With those moves, the Giants’ projected payroll for 2013 currently sits at $138.25 million. (a-denotes projected salary through arbitration).
Projected opening day lineup
- OF Angel Pagan ($8.25 million)
- 2B Marco Scutaro ($8m)
- 3B Pablo Sandoval ($5.7m)
- C Buster Posey ($5.9m-a)
- OF Hunter Pence ($13.8m-a)
- 1B Brandon Belt ($500k)
- OF Gregor Blanco ($1.3m-a)
- SS Brandon Crawford ($500k)
Total: $44.75 million
- C Hector Sanchez ($500k)
- 1B/OF Brett Pill ($500k)
- 3B Conor Gillaspie ($500k)
- OF Andres Torres ($2m)
- 2B Joaquin Arias ($800k-a)
Total: $4.3 million
- RH Matt Cain ($20m)
- LH Barry Zito ($20m)
- RH Tim Lincecum ($22m)
- LH Madison Bumgarner ($750k)
- RH Ryan Vogelsong ($5m)
Total: $67.75 million
- LH Jeremy Affeldt ($6m)
- LH Javier Lopez ($4.25m)
- RH Santiago Casilla ($5m)
- RH Sergio Romo ($3.6m-a)
- LH Jose Mijares ($1.6m-a)
- RH George Kontos ($500k)
- RH Jean Machi or RH Chad Gaudin ($500k)
Total: $21.45 million
One down, one to go.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports are reporting that the Giants have agreed to a four-year deal worth $40 million with outfiedler Angel Pagan.
Frankly, we thought the Giants would secure a deal with second baseman Marco Scutaro before locking down Pagan. But we like the deal for Pagan at $10 million a season.
If you don’t like the deal, consider this: it’s $20 million less than what the Giants gave to their last free-agent center fielder — Aaron Rowand in 2008.
Rowand’s contract expired after the 2012 season with the Giants paying him $12 million to NOT play for them in the final year of his contract. So the Giants are getting Pagan for $2 million less per year than what they paid Rowand last year.
It’s also at least $40 million less than what they likely would have had to spend to get Michael Bourn. The other option was Shane Victorino, who was said to be looking for a three-year deal for $30 million.
But Pagan was better than Victorino.
Pagan hit .288/.338/.440 with a league-high 15 triples (also a San Francisco Giants record) and played a solid center field. He ranked third in the majors in putouts by center fielders. He was second (a distant second to Bourn) in Total Zone Runs as a center fielders. He ranked ninth in the majors in UZR/150 for center fielders, two spots ahead of Victorino.
Tom Verducci on MLB Network mentioned one concern: that Pagan will be 34 when this contract ends, and there weren’t a lot of 34-year-old center fielders in baseball. Well, then it’s good that the Giants’ No. 1 prospect is a very good defensive center fielder: Gary Brown.
Brown struggled early in 2012 at Double-A before finishing with a .279/.347/.385 line in a pitcher-friendly league.
The Giants will want to see how Brown fares at Triple-A in 2013 before making a call-up. The Giants did play Brown some in left in 2012 just to see if he could be an option there.
Unlike Rowand in 2008, Pagan is not coming off a career year, per se. In other words, 2012 was not a fluke. He hit .290/.340/.425 in 2010 in 151 games for the Mets. Injuries limited him to 123 games in 2011, when he hit .262/.322/.372. He also hit .306/.350/.487 in 88 games in 2009 for the Mets.
We’d like to see Pagan walk a bit more and improve that OBP from the leadoff spot. But his contact rate of 87 percent is good and above MLB average (79 percent).
Pagan had a huge August, when Melky Cabrera was lost for the season to a suspension.
Pagan also hit .309 in August/September/October, when he hit in front of Marco Scutaro.
Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
That’s why we want to see the Giants finish some unfinished business next: re-sign Scutaro.