Giants bring back Pagan with four-year deal

December 3, 2012, 9:12 pm
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NASHVILLE -- Giants general manager Brian Sabean was advised by doctors to stay home because of a respiratory illness and did not travel to the winter meetings, but the team still completed one major piece of offseason business on Day 1.The club and center fielder Angel Pagan agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth 40 million. The announcement is pending a physical, Giants sources say.Pagan will receive a 5 million signing bonus and annual salaries of 7 million salary in 2013, 9 million in '14, 9 million in '15 and 10 million in '16.
Pagan, 31, was a key contributor to the Giants' World Series title run this year and shined as the leadoff hitter after moving back into that role Aug. 3. He hit .288 with a .338 on-base percentage and .440 slugging percentage, scored 95 runs and led the major leagues with 15 triples -- a total that broke the San Francisco-era franchise record previously held by Willie Mays and Steve Finley.It was just the second time in his career that Pagan exceeded 125 games in a season, which is what scared off some suitors. Pagan watched two potential landing spots disappear when the Atlanta Braves signed B.J. Upton and the Washington Nationals traded for Denard Span.When Pagan couldn't get the Phillies to commit to a fifth year, he took the Giants' deal.There was a willingness on both sides to wrap up negotiations. The Giants didn't like their other options in center field, especially after gauging the brisk interest in Shane Victorino. Ichiro Suzuki was another brief consideration.But they preferred to keep together the cohesion and chemistry that helped the Giants win six playoff elimination games to reach the World Series, and Pagan was deemed a huge part of that. Also, center field prospect Gary Brown is no longer considered on the fast track to reach the big leagues.The club remains in pursuit of re-signing second baseman Marco Scutaro, although the Yankees could emerge as a competitor after learning that Alex Rodriguez would be out until June, at least, following hip surgery. With the infield market thin on choices, it's a strong possibility the Yankees will look at adding Scutaro as a third baseman.Sources say the Giants also have checked in on outfielder Scott Hairston as a right-handed platoon possibility for Gregor Blanco in left field. Hairston, 32, has been a Giant killer over his career and hit 20 home runs in 377 at-bats last season for the New York Mets.Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was first with the news that the Giants and Pagan were close to an agreement. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports was first to report terms and CSN Bay Area was first to report the year-by-year breakdown.

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