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By TED SILLANPAA

There’s no earthly reason to really be thinking about the world champion Giants’ 2013 season, but it appears some folks insist upon doing so. They’re wondering if the organization will pay to retain the services of second baseman Marco Scutaro and center fielder Angel Pagan.

Given that the Giants kept the 2010 world championship in tact, built around a young pitching staff, there’s no reason to expect the organization to approach preparation for the upcoming season differently.

Pagan isn’t really that far removed from a mid-summer swoon that even had KNBR’s forever-upbeat Marty Lurie calling for more Gregor Blanco in center field. The fact that Blanco was hitting around .200 for a good long spell at the same time spoke volumes for the disenchantment locally with Pagan.

The Giants won the World Series with Pagan a charismatic sparkplug at the top of the order and defensively at a position where speed is valuable in AT&T Park. Unless he somehow being on a championship team into a huge contract, the Giants have the money to keep him with a contract that covers a couple of seasons that they can live with. (No way I’m talking about free agents like Shane Victorino or Josh Hamilton! Not yet. No!)

Scutaro is 37 years old and had a career season with the bat, while just making every play defensively. The Giants wouldn’t have made the playoffs with Scutaro providing the punch that was expected to come from right fielder Hunter Pence when he came over in trade from Philadelphia. Pence, in fairness, provided an offensive upgrade over second baseman Ryan Theriot so … it all worked out perfectly.

Scutaro is to the 2012 Giants what first baseman Aubrey Huff was to the 2010 club. Both produced well beyond their offensive mean in the championship seasons. Both were deep into their 30s when the Giants were faced with re-signing them as free agents in light of the reflection of the world championshp ring they won for the club.

It seems inconceivable that Scutaro would be anything but magnificent for the Giants in 2013. It also seemed that there was no way that Huff would simply go bust in 2011. We know how things turned out for Huff after the Giants signed him to a rich, two-year deal.

Still, Scutaro’s just one of those guys who seems to get better and better. The club has no real alternative at second base and, really, unless some club offers him a deal that takes him into his 40s … he’ll be with San Francisco in 2013. (If he’s hitting .213 in July, remember how inconceivable the idea of letting him go seems right now.)

The fact that Pence became some sort of inspirational leader who produced in some clutch spots in the World Series means the Giants will keep him at whatever cost arbitration brings. If he produces like he has typically produced with the bat in his career, he could be the right fielder for years to come.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Joey

    Ted-
    The Giants got what they could out of Pagan and Scuttaro. Let ‘em go. I consider Pagan the Adres Torres of 2010, and Scuttaro the Renterria…… Credit Sabian for picking these guys up and Bochy for using them in a role that would work. Scuttaro had a great run, but will never have a run like that again. He knows that. He was thrown into a great situation and made the most. Nothing but respect for that guy, but he is not immorral. Pagan is flat out not that good. A former manager of his said something to the point of “he has the worst baseball instincts of any Major Leaguer I have ever had”… Again, I hate to stroke Bochy, but they put him in good situations and asked him to do things that HE could do. Sure he is gritty, but face it, the Giants can do what they did with Pagan, with just about any big league CF.

    October 31st, 2012 2:56 pm

  2. overtime

    Joey…Thanks for reading. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    Pagan’s considerably more a proven veteran big leaguer than Andres Torres was in 2010. I won’t bother you with career stats, but check them out. Torres had a year in 2010 that was a total outlier for a career minor league journeyman. Pagan’s started and played fairly well in the big leagues. Do me and other readers a favor and check Pagan’s stats compared to Torres and let me know what you think then. I’m serious. If you compare the stats and career vs. championship season stats and still think Pagan is Torres 2.0, let me know. I don’t think anybody believes Pagan’s exceptional, but he’s better than Torres … or he seemed better based on what Torres did in 2011.

    Renteria? Same thing. Renteria had a good World Series 2010 but … compare his full season stats in 2010, 2011 to what Scutaro’s done the last few seasons. I’m not suggesting Scutaro should be expected to perform in 2013 like he did for the Giants down the stretch in 2012 … but, Renteria was finished … done … and had a nice ’10 Series. He showed in 2011 that he was done. Compare a bigger sample of stats between Renteria and Scutaro and see if you think they’re the same guy.
    Ted

    October 31st, 2012 4:14 pm

  3. Paul

    In baseball you “earn” your position until you prove you can’t play it or some “takes” it from you. Both of these guys certainly have earned their positions. And with the Giants history of keeping players I think its way to early to speculate that will drop to “unplayable”.
    Also, is Freddie Sanchez still in the mix? What do your insiders say about him coming back?

    October 31st, 2012 4:34 pm

  4. overtime

    Paul…I heard Mike Lowell, the former Marlins and Red Sox third baseman, argue with Dan LeBatard on his radio show that players get paid for what they DID in the hope that they’ll do it again. LeBatard took the stance that it’s a bad contract if a player has 3, 4 great years and then gets 5 years, $25 million … and doesn’t play well. Lowell gave a really lucid explanation that … I can’t recall in detail. But, it was along the lines of players being underpaid initially and then getting big money for what they’d achieved. I would imagine Buster Posey is an example, right? What would be be worth on the open market right now? The Giants haven’t really paid him much at all by NL MVP standards. So, he stays healthy, and he cashes in on the NEXT contract for this season and the club hopes he keeps producing into the future. Fans think players have to earn the money they’re presently being paid…so they get mad when Huff goes bust for 2 years. I feel like the Giants were paying him for 2010 the last 2 years. … Isn’t Freddy Sanchez at the end of his contract? I’ll check. I got the impression his health made him coming back to the Giants doubtful…but, I also heard management (Bochy and others) thought Sanchez was a little unwilling to play hurt or to come back when they felt they really needed him. Ted

    October 31st, 2012 5:30 pm

  5. Paul

    Prior to Curt Flood player would get their contract adjusted at the end of the season. Do good… get a raise, Do poorly ….get a cut in pay.

    October 31st, 2012 8:31 pm

  6. overtime

    Paul…Yep! I don’t know how people look back on those as the “good” old days. Guys tied to one team for as long as the team wanted them, then cut or traded with no recourse. I wouldn’t want to have been tied to the first organization that hired me when I was a kid. Ted

    October 31st, 2012 9:03 pm

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