SAN FRANCISCO -- Exactly one year after he was originally acquired from the Mets, Angel Pagan received real financial security for the first time in his career. The seven-year veteran has never had a deal lengthier than two years or one that earned more than $5 million a season. Next season will mark his first of four with the Giants, where he will earn an average of $10 million, and the man who calls himself "Crazy Horse" is looking forward to settling down in an area he has fast grown to love.
"The Giants were my No. 1 priority," Pagan told beat reporters at Comcast SportsNet's San Francisco studios Friday. "Then the other teams."
Pagan, who passed his physical Friday morning, was one of three free agents the Giants re-signed, joining Marco Scutaro and Jeremy Affeldt with a four-year contract worth $40 million dollars.
Pagan acknowledged he had multiple three-year contract offers on the table, but that he was looking for more.
"The Giants were the first ones to offer that fourth year, like I was hoping," Pagan said. "Right after they did it, I didn't hesitate. I wasn't waiting for another team."
If it was another team that proposed a four-year contract, though, Pagan most certainly would have given the Giants a chance to match the offer.
With his finances secured, Pagan is looking to move his family to the Bay Area. His two daughters, who are currently schooling in Puerto Rico, love San Francisco, and they could be seeing a lot more of it, if their dad can maneuver the local housing market.
"I'm looking to buy a house here in San Francisco right now, but they are pretty expensive," Pagan said with a laugh.
It was the right decision for his family, but there was another influence that drew Pagan back to the Bay.
"Nothing makes me happier than to be back to play with my teammates," Pagan said meaningfully.
He remained in contact with fellow table-setter Marco Scutaro nearly every day, updating each other with contract talk and reaffirming their desires to be reunited atop the Giants lineup for seasons to come.
"The chemistry shows on this team," Pagan said. "When we go out there trying to compete with one common goal -- not as teammates, but as brothers."
Scutaro wasn't the only teammate he stayed close with, though. Pagan cited Madison Bumgarner and Brandon Belt as others he communicated with frequently.
"I used to mess with them, telling them, 'It was nice playing with you guys.'" Pagan said. "They said 'Don't say that, again!' I have a lot of respect for my teammates because they showed me a lot of love."
Tough love, too. Recalling a conversation in the aftermath of the World Series, a group of teammates that included Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Buster Posey approached Pagan in the clubhouse.
"Aye, you better re-sign with us, because if you don't sign, you better wear the best elbow guards out there, 'cause you're going to get smoked," they said to him.
It was said in jest, but Pagan kept that moment close to his heart.
"That's something that makes you feel good, that they want you back," Pagan said. "And that's why I want to go out there and win championships, because I know my team would do the same for me."
Following the team's 2010 World Series title, the Giants won 86 games and failed to reach the playoffs in 2011. Pagan isn't concerned about a drop-off after the 2012 title. He plans to keep his sword sharp by representing Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic -- the semifinals and finals of which will be played at AT&T Park.
"The better you are, the higher the expectations."
Pagan, 31, is about two months away from reporting to spring training and realizing just how high the expectations surrounding a four-year, $40 million contract truly are.