In most cases, judging a trade based on two months of results is often considered premature. I think there is a clear winner between the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, though. These two clubs made an offseason deal that sent Angel Pagan out West, while Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres traveled East. Of course, one of these players makes the headlines on a regular basis for production. The other two find their way into the news for less favorable results.
So which organization wound up with the better acquisition?
Pagan is hitting .297/.343/.455 with four home runs, 13 RBIs, and eight stolen bases across 40 games. His OPS+ of 126 actually stands at a career high. Plus, he amassed a 20-game hitting streak earlier in the season. Most people assumed he would rebound from a mediocre campaign in 2011 due to his career .750 OPS at that point. However, I doubt many guessed he would come back this much stronger. Stopping Pagan and Melky Cabrera at the plate often proves challenging for opposing pitchers these days.
On the other hand, the Mets are seeing some pretty poor results from their acquisitions. Torres lacks any semblance of the power he sported in 2010. This outfielder is hitting .187/.330/.267 with one home run, 10 RBIs, and one stolen base over his first 22 games this season. In fact, he recently found himself on the bench for lackluster results. Likewise, Ramirez looks pretty terrible on the mound with a 4.30 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across 23 innings pitched. That stands as a far cry from his 2.62 ERA last season and career 3.23 ERA.
Without a doubt, Pagan currently stands as one of the impact players San Francisco needed over the offseason. He is not outrageously performing above his career norms, so this bump in performance could last rather than disappear. The center fielder is eligible for free agency after this season, and his passable defense offers some insurance against any slight decreases in offensive production. Obviously, an extension of two or three seasons would make sense. You probably will not see the other two guys with the Mets next season, though.
Ramirez managed a 2.07 ERA with the Giants across two seasons, but the Boston Red Sox kicked him to the curb in 2010 for amassing a 4.46 ERA in 42.1 innings. It appears as though pitching at AT&T Park boosted pitching stats in big ways. Likewise, Torres performed well in 2009 and 2010 but played in only 214 of 324 possible games. Unfortunately, he then fell apart last season with a .643 OPS across 112 games. Torres suffers from health issues and his career .714 OPS shows that his numbers in 2009 and 2010 were closer to flukes than true talent; Ramirez simply lucked out in a pitcher's park.
Early results show that Angel Pagan is the only player that matters in this deal. Sadly, the New York Mets jumped the gun and traded him due to one lackluster season after years of consistency. Andres Torres stood out as a weak link for the San Francisco Giants, and his decline seems to be continuing. Ramon Ramirez simply acted as an extra trade piece in a crowded and talented bullpen. Up until the start of the season, the deal looked decent for both sides involved, but now we see the truth. Pagan's poor 2011 was not an indication of a career decline, injuries bogged down Torres in the long run, and Ramirez benefited a little too much from pitching at AT&T Park.
I know plenty of Mets fans are peeved at this trade, but the Giants usually wind up with the slumping acquisitions, and I am so glad that did not happen this time around.
Errick D. Williams is a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants who has attended over 200 games at AT&T Park. He lives in San Diego but regularly travels back up to the Bay Area to catch a game with friends and family members.
- Sports & Recreation
- San Francisco Giants
- Andres Torres
- New York Mets
- San Francisco