San Francisco Giants Sign Andres Torres
The Giants signed Andres Torres, whom they had traded to the Mets for Angel Pagan a year ago, to a one-year $2 million contract for 2013. It’s another sign that the Giants are going to try to win in 2013 the same way they won in 2012 — around pitching, defense and team chemistry.
Torres had his career year in 2010, when he was a big part of San Francisco’s first World Series victory. He’s clearly not going to have a season like 2010 again, but he makes a great fourth or fifth outfielder, given his excellent defense and his ability to get on base and run.
During his first stint as a Giant, I was impressed with Torres’ professionalism. He made few mistakes on the field, took advantage of in-game opportunities, and generally carried himself with quiet dignity.
I have no reason to believe that Torres wasn’t popular in the clubhouse, and my understanding is that the Giants traded him to the Mets simply because the Giants thought that Pagan, who is younger, would be an upgrade in center field, at least with the bat. The fact that the Giants are bringing Torres back at the first opportunity is obviously a sign that they traded him in the first place because they wanted Pagan, not because they wanted to rid themselves of Torres.
The biggest knock on Torres is that his skill set is pretty much the same as Gregor Blanco, another player who is really a fourth outfielder. However, unlike Blanco, who bats left, Torres is a switch hitter who hits better from the right side of the plate (career .743 OPS right-handed v. .696 OPS left-handed).
Assuming the Giants plan to carry a fifth outfielder in 2013, what they need now is a right-handed hitter with some power. This could mean the Giants will look to bring back Xavier Nady as a low cost option, or perhaps they’d be willing to spend more money and try to sign someone like Scott Hairston.