Giants

Giants bring back Pagan with four-year deal

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Giants bring back Pagan with four-year deal

NASHVILLE -- Giants general manager Brian Sabean was advised by doctors to stay home because of a respiratory illness and did not travel to the winter meetings, but the team still completed one major piece of offseason business on Day 1.The club and center fielder Angel Pagan agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth 40 million. The announcement is pending a physical, Giants sources say.Pagan will receive a 5 million signing bonus and annual salaries of 7 million salary in 2013, 9 million in '14, 9 million in '15 and 10 million in '16.
Pagan, 31, was a key contributor to the Giants' World Series title run this year and shined as the leadoff hitter after moving back into that role Aug. 3. He hit .288 with a .338 on-base percentage and .440 slugging percentage, scored 95 runs and led the major leagues with 15 triples -- a total that broke the San Francisco-era franchise record previously held by Willie Mays and Steve Finley.It was just the second time in his career that Pagan exceeded 125 games in a season, which is what scared off some suitors. Pagan watched two potential landing spots disappear when the Atlanta Braves signed B.J. Upton and the Washington Nationals traded for Denard Span.When Pagan couldn't get the Phillies to commit to a fifth year, he took the Giants' deal.There was a willingness on both sides to wrap up negotiations. The Giants didn't like their other options in center field, especially after gauging the brisk interest in Shane Victorino. Ichiro Suzuki was another brief consideration.But they preferred to keep together the cohesion and chemistry that helped the Giants win six playoff elimination games to reach the World Series, and Pagan was deemed a huge part of that. Also, center field prospect Gary Brown is no longer considered on the fast track to reach the big leagues.The club remains in pursuit of re-signing second baseman Marco Scutaro, although the Yankees could emerge as a competitor after learning that Alex Rodriguez would be out until June, at least, following hip surgery. With the infield market thin on choices, it's a strong possibility the Yankees will look at adding Scutaro as a third baseman.Sources say the Giants also have checked in on outfielder Scott Hairston as a right-handed platoon possibility for Gregor Blanco in left field. Hairston, 32, has been a Giant killer over his career and hit 20 home runs in 377 at-bats last season for the New York Mets.Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was first with the news that the Giants and Pagan were close to an agreement. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports was first to report terms and CSN Bay Area was first to report the year-by-year breakdown.

Report: 'Safe assumption' that Buster Posey will have season-ending hip surgery

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AP

Report: 'Safe assumption' that Buster Posey will have season-ending hip surgery

Buster Posey has been bothered by hip issues for the most of the season. He had a cortisone shot in his right hip during the All-Star break.

Now, the injury will reportedly cost him the rest of the season.

According John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Posey is likely facing hips surgery that will put an end to his 2018 season. It's not immediately known exactly when Posey would undergo the procedure, but Bruce Bochy said the surgery would "involve addressing the labrum and cleaning out bone spurs."

“I’d say that that’s a safe assumption,” Giants executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean told The Chronicle.

Posey's offensive numbers have been greatly impacted by the hip issue. Entering play on Tuesday, Posey is hitting .286/.360/.386 with 22 doubles, five home runs and 40 RBI. All of those numbers would be career-lows in seasons in which he played at least 100 games.

Posey is not in the lineup Tuesday as the Giants take on the Mets in New York.

Fallout from Nats' fire sale explains why Giants keep pushing off their own Grand Reconstruction

Fallout from Nats' fire sale explains why Giants keep pushing off their own Grand Reconstruction

Concessions may be good for the soul, but they are lousy for just about any other industry, so the Washington Nationals taking a very public knee Tuesday is going to hurt them a good long while, enough to give other teams (say, like the Giants, just to name one team with a worse record) pause from ever doing so themselves.

Daniel Murphy going to the Cubs was . . . well, okay, fine. So was Matt Adams returning to the Cardinals. Even trying (and eventually failing) to move Bryce Harper to the Dodgers was, well, weird and kind of panicky, but explicable. But this isn’t about that. This is about team president/owner’s son Mark Lerner and his proclivity for letter-writing.

Lerner explained in a missive to the fans on Tuesday why the Nats were surrendering, offering the following unsatisfactory rationale:

“When something isn’t working, you evaluate the situation and take the necessary steps to improve it. You don’t just stand by, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Unfortunately, in this case, that means making very tough decisions about our roster. I believed in this team, and would have loved to see them all play healthy together this season. However, the time has come for us to make decisions that will bolster our roster for next season and beyond. This is about giving us some roster flexibility, giving us the opportunity to see some of our young talent, and seeing if we can still find a combination or two that could spark a difference.”

But this is what he wrote three weeks ago at the July 31 trade deadline to those very same fans:

“In spite of a player payroll that exceeds $200 million — the second highest in baseball — and exceeding the luxury tax threshold, so far this season has not lived up to everyone’s expectations. The trade deadline forced us to take a hard look at the roster and contemplate whether to keep the team we have for the remainder of the season or make significant changes. At the end of the day, my family and (general manager) Mike Rizzo decided that we just couldn’t give up on this team. We couldn’t look ourselves in the mirror knowing that we had simply thrown in the towel on a team full of talent and heart.”

The ensuing three weeks have been as hot a mess as the previous 18, from the rampant carping inside the clubhouse to nostalgic cries for former manager Dusty Baker. The Nats are in a perfect freefall, weighed down by expectations, money and now the owner’s need to explain himself at the drop of a hat.

Which now explains at least in small part why the Giants have been pushing off the day of their own Grand Reconstruction – having to write the letter to the fans.

See, when owners are happy, they typically talk into microphones and preen for cameras. When they aren’t, they dictate to subordinate typists. The reason? They don’t have to face the unhappy people they’ve been lifting money from all these many years, and nobody spends this kind of dough to have to stand and be mocked, slandered and middle-finger-saluted by strangers and poor people.

But here the Nats stand, naked and shamed, showing what other owners already know – the value of admitting nothing in person, and instead hiring someone the public won’t physically attack to deliver the bad news.

At some point, the Giants will have to excavate the remainings of the World Series rosters, and it will not sit well with the rampant nostalgics among the fan base. And yes, that means Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford and maybe even Madison Bumgarner. It will be a radical departure from their standard MO, but it will be unavoidable.

But if I were Larry Baer (and I think we both agree what a bad idea that would be), I’d avoid writing that Dear Fan letter. It never plays well unless it contains the following helpful phrase, “Look, we hosted the party, we got massively drunk, we passed out, and now the folks have come home and we have to clean everything up.” It may not be satisfactory answer, but it will at least get some knowing nods from the audience:
“Yeah, I used to do stupid stuff like that in college.”

And Baer should especially not include this, which comes from Lerner’s letter Tuesday:

“The good news is this is not a rebuilding effort. We have a lot of talent on our roster ,  from seasoned veterans to enthusiastic young guys. And Mike Rizzo and his team will be busy during the offseason making sure we have all of the pieces necessary to come back and be competitive next year.”

That one is so ridiculous that it could the ballpark burned down, and our firemen already have more than enough to do.