Mariners Should Have Smith Replacement Ready Now, Pagan the Guy
General Manager Jerry Dipoto has been unusually quiet for the last month. While the focus appears to be on finding a new starting pitcher, the Mariners cannot forget their other needs. Seth Smith is being shopped in the Mariners attempt to add pitching, and if he is moved, the team will need to replace him. Enter Angel Pagan.
The Player- Angel Pagan is a 35 year old outfielder formerly of the San Francisco Giants. Pagan is coming off a 4 year, $40 million deal. After a dissapointing 2015, Pagan bounced back nicely in 2016. His .277/.331/.418 slash fell right in line with his career averages, and he tied a career high 11 homeruns.
Pagan is no longer able to handle the centerfield duties everyday, but his 5.1 UZR/150 in LF for the 2016 season shows he can still handle a corner well. He isn't the speedster he used to be, but he has never posted a negative BsR, so he is still an above average runner.
He is a switch hitter, but fairs much better against righties than lefties. His slash of .282/.352/.414 against righties lead to a 112 wRC+. He isn't terrible against LHP either, which makes him a little better than a pure platoon guy.
The Fit- Currently, Pagan isn't an easy fit to the current roster, but if Smith is traded, Dipoto will need to add an outfielder. He seems comfortable with Haniger, Martin and Smith/Valencia, but once Smith is dealt, the team will need a veteran replacement. Pagan is an upgrade both defensively and on the basepaths over Seth Smith, and is comparable to Smith at the plate against righties.
The Cost- Pagan made $10 million last season, and his 2.1 fWAR is worth roughly $10-$14 million. A 35 year old isn't likely to get more than 1 or 2 years. Raja Davis is a fair comparison. He just netted a 1 year, $6 million deal from the Oakland A's. That feels about right for Angel Pagan.
The Verdict- Overall, Pagan appears to be a good fit, even with Seth Smith still on the roster. He can play all 3 OF spots in a pinch, but is definetly better in a corner spot. His 112 wRC+ against righties, plus his ability to put the ball in play and take walks, makes him an ideal candidate for the #2 spot in the lineup. The money should be roughly equivilant to Seth Smith, so payroll wise, he would fit with no problems.