Andres Torres

Giants trade Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan

What most people will notice about this trade is how strangely similar the last two seasons have played out for both Andres Torres and Angel Pagan. But even though the Mets get a reliever along with their new speedy CF, this is a logical trade for both sides.

The San Francisco Giants got something for Torres — even though most people knew Torres had a great chance of being non-tendered. Ramon Ramirez is a fairly dependable reliever, but right-handed arms are relatively easy to replace (Heath Hembree, hello!) and the Giants’ bullpen is a position of strength.

It was pretty easy to see a trade like this coming, since the Giants were already rumored to be shopping Torres, Ramirez and Keppinger on Tuesday and Sabean said this on the day after the regular season ended:

Don’t expect Torres back, either. “We don’t really have a center field alternative that we necessarily feel comfortable with,” Sabean said.

The newest Giant

Angel Pagan wore out his welcome in New York for several reasons. He was hesitant to lead off. In 2011 he hit the DL for over a month with an oblique injury, and played much worse defense than he did in 2010. His offense suffered a bit, too.

2010: 151 GM, 633 PA, 11 HR, 37 SB (9 CS), .290/.340/.425, 113 wRC+
2011:  123 GM, 532 PA, 7 HR, 32 SB (7 CS), .262/.322/.372, 99 wRC+

Although if you look at his BABIP (.285 in 2011 compared to .331 in 2010), it’s reasonable to assume a “textbook” Pagan season would fall somewhere between what he did in each of the past two seasons. And since Pagan’s only 30, a drastic falloff in production shouldn’t be expected.

Whether or not he’s a risk to become a problem in the clubhouse … well, that’s why Bruce Bochy’s around. That and to curtail chicken and beer consumption by the players during games.

So even though Torres’ career has seen the same heights Pagan’s has, the Giants had seen enough. And Pagan’s also over three years younger than Torres.

Goodbye to two more 2010 contributors…

This trade means Ramirez goes from one pitcher’s park to another, albeit he’ll end up closer to Tony Bruno, who fled California for Philadelphia a month after calling Ramirez an “illegal alien” in an infamous tweet.

For Torres, this trade is fantastic news. Even though Fangraphs loves the ADHD-afflicted center fielder for his defensive skills, speed and BB%, the Giants fell out of love for whatever reason(s). Torres wasn’t going to be completely out of options even if the Giants non-tendered him, but now he knows a team wanted him enough to trade for him — a team that has an opening both at the leadoff spot and in center field. Torres isn’t guaranteed a starting role for the entire season with the Mets by any means, but he’ll almost assuredly earn a Major League salary after a frustrating 2011.

Torres had quite several memorable moments in his Giants tenure, and many of them occurred when he wasn’t tossing cinder blocks while wearing True Religions.

He was widely known as perhaps the nicest Giant on the squad, the guy who always asked everyone how they were doing whether he was in the lineup or not. His play on the field wasn’t consistent, but one could always count on Torres playing at maximum effort. He was also known for running with his hands in that distinctive sprinter style, with his hands slicing through the air. And then there was those gigantic bats he used, at least by modern standards.

While this play didn’t happen in a postseason game (it was during a regular season game in San Diego on 7/15/11), it represents the kind of Giant Torres was.

Tomorrow we’ll look at what the addition of Pagan means to the Giants currently on the roster, and what it means in terms of the players they’ll look to add.

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