December 3, 2012
Monday, December 3
The Winter Meetings get underway today at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, where several members of the BP staff are keeping tabs on all of the latest happenings, from the transactions wire to the hotel bar. Here are the most salient rumors from the past weekend, which should set the stage for an exciting few days to come:
Phillies emerging as favorites for Angel Pagan
If the volume of rumors surrounding players is any indication of the order in which they will sign, then Pagan appears to be next in line. The leadoff man for the World Series champion Giants, Pagan (31) is older than Bourn (29) but younger than Shane Victorino (32), and he enjoyed the best 2012 campaign of the trio. After avoiding arbitration with a $4.85 million agreement last spring, Pagan produced 4.7 WARP, contributing on both sides of the ball (.290 TAv, +10.9 FRAA), and taking full advantage of Triples’ Alley at AT&T Park to lead the National League with 15 three-baggers.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Pagan figures to be rewarded with a four-year hitch this offseason, with at least two teams—the Giants and Phillies—already expressing a willingness to buy his services through the 2016 season. But if Pagan is not amenable to granting San Francisco a discount, then the current landscape suggests that he should begin looking for real estate in Philadelphia.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean opted not to extend Pagan a qualifying offer earlier this offseason, a decision that implied that in the team’s view, the potential to obtain a high draft pick was not worth the risk of being saddled with a $13.3 million invoice for 2013. Thus, unless you think that Sabean might openly admit a tactical mistake, it stands to reason that the average annual value of the Giants’ four-year offer is below $13.3 million. In fact, it may be well below, given that Pagan would turn 35 before he hits the market again, and that his injury history is littered with fractures and strains of virtually every body part you can name.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal detailed the Phillies’ pursuit of Pagan in a column last week, and he initially reported the four-year framework, before Olney added that both the Giants and the Phillies were operating under it. Although other teams, such as the Reds, could enter the bidding (or may have already), Ruben Amaro seems to be in the driver’s seat, and he will almost certainly touch base with Pagan’s representatives from the Octagon sports agency in Nashville. If he is able to seal the deal, then Sabean may be forced to scramble.