Giants bring back Pagan with four-year deal

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Giants bring back Pagan with four-year deal

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.

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The promotion of an intriguing prospect can bring a certain buzz to the ballpark. It didn’t last long. 

The debut of Ryder Jones came in the latest flat performance from the Giants, who collapsed late and fell 5-2 to the Mets. The loss was their 50th of the season. They did not lose their 50th game last season until August 12. 

With the score tied in the eighth, Curtis Granderson crushed a leadoff triple into the alley. Sam Dyson walked the next batter and then whiffed Yoenis Cespedes, but Jay Bruce greeted Steven Okert with an RBI single to right. It kept going poorly from there. 

Here are five things to know from a cool day by the water … 

—- Jones grounded out to second in his first at-bat and then flied out to center, grounded out to first, and grounded out to second. He had one chance in the field, starting a double play that ended the second inning.  

—- Johnny Cueto seems to have turned a corner. Over his past two starts, he has allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings. Whether they trade him or not, the Giants certainly could use a nice little hot streak for the next six weeks. 

—- A few seconds after Bruce Bochy shook Cueto’s hand, Brandon Belt got him off the hook for a loss. He hit the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh into the seats in left-center, tying the game. The homer was Belt’s 14th. He’s on pace for 29. 

—- The Mets got eight one-run innings out of Jacob deGrom, who is quietly the most reliable of a star-studded rotation. He struck out seven and gave up just four hits. 

—- If Madison Bumgarner wants another Silver Slugger Award, he’ll have to chase down deGrom, who hit a homer in his last start. His single in the third was his 10th hit, and he finished the day with a .294 average.