Philadelphia Phillies: Why They Should Pursue Angel Pagan over BJ Upton

Zak SchmollAnalyst INovember 17, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 15:  Angel Pagan #16 of the San Francisco Giants hits a lead-off homerun in the first inning during Game Two of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on October 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

While all of the talk in Philadelphia has been centered around how the Phillies can get BJ Upton into the outfield, the team might be better off looking at Angel Pagan at a more predictable, and consequently better, option for 2013.

It seems as if the San Francisco Giants want to bring Pagan back, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, so this might be a hard fight to win. He just won the World Series, and that is a difficult situation to leave.

However, Pagan himself has never come out on the record as far as I know as to his intentions for next season. Perhaps he wants to try somewhere different. If that is the case, the Philadelphia Phillies need to seriously consider adding Pagan to the lineup.

First, he will serve a purpose similar to what Shane Victorino did when he was in Philadelphia. He hit for a high average, got on base, was always a threat to steal second and had decent power. Of course, if you look at his stat line from last season, this is rather obvious.

He hit .288, led the National League with 15 triples, hit eight home runs, drove in 56 runs and stole 29 bases. He is the type of hitter that the Phillies could use at the top of their lineup to help set the table for the run producing bats of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

Beyond the obvious on-field benefits, it's safe to assume that his contract will be less than BJ Upton. The Philadelphia Phillies have put far too much money into far too few contracts. Making another large investment in a high-risk player like Upton doesn't make a lot of sense.

Normally, I am a huge advocate of taking on risks to reap huge potential rewards. Upton does provide that, but it is not the right time for the Phillies. If the risk for Upton doesn't pay off, the Phillies will be saddled with yet another deal that costs a lot more than it is worth.

Except for the power, Pagan provides virtually every benefit that Upton does and he has been more consistent throughout his career. The Phillies need someone who they can count on to produce, and if he comes at a discount compared to Upton (which he absolutely should), the deal looks even better.


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