As a baseball move, I can get behind Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan. Torres and Pagan have very, very similar skill sets, backgrounds, and injury histories, but Pagan is younger. All things being equal, without emotion involved, I'd rather have Pagan. It's close.
The difference between the two: a right-handed reliever coming off a career year, heading towards his final year of arbitration. I liked Ramon Ramirez. He probably wasn't going to put up another year like last season, but he was a very nice third or fourth option out of the bullpen. As the difference between Torres and Pagan, he makes sense.
But there's the context. Oh, that pesky context. First, the good news; nay, the great news. Melky Cabrera will not play center field. Melky Cabrera will not lead off. Again, I don't hate the idea of Melky as an outfielder for the Giants, but he wasn't a great option for the leadoff/center role that the Giants seemed to want.
The bad news, though, is that the outfield is most likely set. Barring a move that sends Nate Schierholtz somewhere, or a move substantial enough to put Schierholtz or Pagan on the bench, it's going to be Melky/Pagan/Nate in the outfield. That's not bad defensively. It's ... not good offensively, but then, remember: the Giants.
That probably means no Beltran. I was still holding out hope. He is the absolute perfect fit for the Giants, who are built to win now with a little offensive help on a short-term deal. It was always a pipe dream for the Giants to get Reyes, Fielder, or Pujols. But Beltran, man, he was already here. We already saw what he could do with Sandoval in a lineup. It was a beautiful dream.
The fallout goes deeper, though. If the outfield is set, forget about those outfield chores for Aubrey Huff. He'll be back at first base.
So Brandon Belt ...
...oh, god ...
Look, if Bochy wasn't going to pay Belt over an out-of-shape, awful Huff, he's not going to play him over the best-shape-of-his-life Huff, which is what we'll hear in the spring. It will be Huff and a right-handed complement. Brett Pill, most likely. Belt will get yo-yoed again.
Stop me when this gets too unrealistic or cynical. I know I have a tendency for that sort of thing. But while I kind of like Pagan for Torres with a Ramirez kicker, I think the Giants just finished the offense. And it's not exciting. It could have been worse -- and there's still time! -- but it's a deflating offseason so far.
The love letter to Andres Torres will come. He is, and always will be, one of my favorite Giants of all-time. I'll miss him, even as I appreciate that Angel Pagan is a pretty good player.