According to multiple reports, the San Francisco Giants have re-signed center fielder Angel Pagan to a four-year, $40 million deal. The deal’s implications for the Cubs are mostly tangential, but not non-existent.
- The Cubs remain in the market for a center fielder, but it remains unclear at what level they’ll be looking. They were not attached to Pagan (or B.J. Upton before him), but a rumor over the weekend saw the Cubs popping up as one of an undetermined number of teams interested in Michael Bourn. Pagan’s signing would not appear to have much of an impact on Bourn’s price. Back when Jon Heyman and an unidentified expert predicted free agent salaries, they had Pagan at about three to four years and $10 to $11 million per. Thus, Pagan didn’t bust things on the upside, and his deal probably won’t have an impact on Bourn’s. (Heyman and the expert predicted about five years and $80 to $83 million for Bourn, for what it’s worth.)
- The most prominent members remaining in the center field market on the buying side are probably the Rangers and the Phillies. The Rangers are still heavily involved in bringing Josh Hamilton back. The Phillies have been attached to Bourn, as well as Shane Victorino, one of the other prominent names on the market, and their former center fielder. The Pagan signing could push the Phillies back toward Bourn.
- … or it could push them into trying to upgrade elsewhere in the outfield. Perhaps, say, in left field? We heard this weekend that the Cubs are planning to meet with teams this week about Alfonso Soriano, and the one team specifically mentioned was the Phillies. Maybe Pagan was option 1, and Soriano is option 2? It’s conceivable, even if they are different types of players who play different positions …
- If the Cubs are going the bargain route in center field – perhaps looking at a perennial bounce-back type like Grady Sizemore (UPDATE: Sizemore’s agent just revealed that his client had another microfracture surgery, which means that, if the Cubs are interested, it’s as a mid-season flyer type – not that he would have been more than a flyer as it was) – then the Pagan signing has no impact on the Cubs whatsoever.