Center Fielders Angel Pagan and Shane Victorino to Sign Contracts
The San Francisco Giants reached agreement with Angel Pagan yesterday on a four-year deal for $40 million, and today the Boston Red Sox reached agreement with Shane Victorino for three years and $39 million.
There isn’t a whole of difference between the two players. They both play an above-average center field, both have alley power and both are good but not exceptional base stealers. Victorino might play slightly better defense and have a little more power, but Pagan is seven months younger.
In short, it’s not surprising they signed for about the same amount of money. Pagan got a extra year because he’s a little younger, and Victorino got more per year because he’s had a better career to date.
I like the Pagan signing a little better because the Giants get an extra year for only an additional $1 million. Also, when you factor into the equation that Pagan is re-signing with the team he helped propel to a World Series win this past season, the fact that he and Victorino are getting roughly the same money seems like a relative bargain.
While the Giants didn’t want to give Pagan a fourth year (and I’m sure the Red Sox didn’t want to give Victorino a third year), the deals seem fair for the signing teams. Fangraphs estimates Pagan’s value in 2012 at $21.6 million, and Pagan did not have a career year, in that fangraphs’ estimates for Pagan’s 2010 was $21.8 million and his 2009 was $13.2 million even though Pagan only played 88 games that year. Absent a major injury, it seems likely Pagan will provide the Giants with $40 million in value over the next four seasons, even though his performance will likely decline by years three and four of the deal.
As for Victorino, he’s coming off his worst season since 2007, but fangraphs still estimated his 2012 contributions at $14.7 million. In 2011, his estimated value was $26.8 million (his career year) and his average over the four previous seasons was $16.5 million per year.
In other words, Victorino is likely to bounce back toward his mean in 2013. Also, because Pagan and Victorino both still run well, the odds are fairly good that they’ll remain productive players through age 34, their ages in the last season of each contract.
As a final note, I love the Nationals’ purported signing of Dan Haren for one year at $13 million. Haren didn’t get more years because of ongoing concerns about his back problems. Even so he managed to pitch 176.2 innings in 2012. Although his ERA was up, his K’s and BB’s ratios were in line with his career norms.
Presumably Haren’s signing means the Nationals will part ways with Edwin Jackson, who after another solid season in 2012 and still only age 29, is probably in line for a multi-year deal. Signing Haren for only a single season gives the Nats a lot of flexibility in the relatively near future.