Trading for Angel Pagan made sense at the time. Once you got over the shock that you had another man's face tattooed on your ass, and that man now played for the Mets, you could see the logic in trading some defense for a younger version of Andres Torres.
One of the unspoken benefits of the trade is that it cleared the way for Gary Brown. There was going to be this uncomfortable moment in 2013 when you realized that Gary Brown was ready, but Torres was still around, and you were going to rely on Bruce Bochy to make that seamless transition from veteran to rookie with which he excels. With Pagan being a free agent after this season, there isn't going to be that problem. Brown can just take the job and lead off for the next dec…
Dammit so much.
So it looks like Brown is something of a project, and those thoughts of him leading the Giants in 2013 were a little premature. The Eastern League is the trapdoor spider of the minor leagues. The Cal League is a cool jungle night, and the major leagues are a pile of delicious rotting fruit, and all you want to do is go from one side to the other. Next thing you know, your thorax is being chewed by something bigger than you. Fun while it lasted.
And in 2013, the Giants will need a center fielder. Gregor Blanco seems to be a nice fallback plan, but where once Angel Pagan being around for a single year seemed like it's a good thing, now it's kind of a bummer. His defense can get a little benardian at times, but he's still a useful player, even in a down year like 2011. When he's having a good year, he's fun to watch -- .349/.402/.422 in May, with eight walks and no homers, which seems to be more reasonable. It was kind of freaky when he homered in three straight games.
The same thing applies with Pagan that applies with Cabrera: wait. Now is not the time. If you pay now, you're including a hot-month premium -- that's going to cost a couple million, at least -- and that's never a good idea.
Pagan is a lot more interesting as a potential extension candidate now, though, than he was before the season started. Brown isn't going to be ready, most likely, so the Giants will need a short-term fix. A two-year deal doesn't seem too outlandish for Pagan, nor does he seem like the type to get a three-year commitment from another team. I could even see a situation where the market falls out from under him like Cody Ross last offseason, and he takes a one-year deal.
Not saying it's a good idea to extend him yet. But it's not a bad idea to start thinking about it. Two years, $11 million? If he hits .290/.340/.451 for the rest of the season, that's not bloody likely. But it's a good start if you're looking for something to get used to.
Pagan was a clear one-and-done before the season started. Not so sure about that now.