Giants lock up Pagan with four-year deal

Angel Pagan’s free agency has been one of the most intriguing cases of the offseason.

The 31-year-old had a great 2012 for the Giants, which was good for him, and in a way, bad for the Giants. They were forced into a position where they might have to overpay to retain an older – and popular – player.

And that’s just what the Giants did on Monday, re-signing Pagan to a four-year, $40 million deal. A pair of MLB Network insiders confirmed the news within 15 minutes on Monday afternoon:

Yahoo’s Tim Brown was the first to report the terms of the deal:

Here’s how the contract will break down:

After coming over from the Mets prior to the 2012 season, Pagan posted a .288 batting average and scored 95 runs in his first season with the Giants. He legged out a league-leading 15 triples and stole 29 bases. He gets a sizable pay raise over his $4.85 million salary in 2012.

The Giants are likely relieved that they got their guy and addressed the biggest item on their offseason checklist. If they had lost out on Pagan, they would have had to wade into a lukewarm center field free agent pool.

Heading into this week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, there were rumors that Pagan was getting a lot of attention from the Philadelphia Phillies. Maybe the Giants felt the heat and decided it was time to get serious with their offer to Pagan.

Now they have to hope Pagan’s production doesn’t decline as he enters his mid-30’s.┬áMy great fear is that this deal turns into the Aaron Rowand albatross that latched onto the Giants ankle like a 100-pound cannon ball.

Pagan is a solid player and brought lots of energy to the team, but I’d be hesitant to invest in him for more than two years at a time. Pagan will turn 32 during the 2013 season.