Focus shifts to Scutaro with Pagan signed


Angel Pagan has four more years to contemplate his place in San Francisco Giants lore. In short, a nagging problem averted.The Giants and Pagan decided Monday that 40 million over the next 48 months was a grand expenditure for leadoff hitter and center fielder, especially on a championship team that doesnt have either in abundance. And for that, general manager Brian Sabean can feel like staying home to tend to his respiratory issue was a better choice than going to Tennessee.I mean, at least he got the big item on his shopping list done.Pagan was the player the Giants were most worried about retaining, because the outfield market was so thin, made even more so when B.J. Upton signed his five-year, 75M contract with Atlanta.Thus, to get Pagan in at a reasonable rate seemed less likely to the Giants than resigning second basemanfolk hero Marco Scutaro.As it turns out, it was the other way around. The New York Yankees have expressed interest in the versatile Scutaro, and bidding wars with the Yankees are usually fruitless affairs. In short, the Giants aching need for an outfielder is now much lessened, while their hole at second base may have been reopened.That is how the Giants will be defending this titlewith the deftness of the classic one-armed paperhanger. They have holes in some places, too much in others, and the task of changing enough of the roster to keep it fresher than the one in 2011 is one of Sabeans secondary priorities.Pagan is not one of those freshening agents, but he elevated himself into a need item both by his play down the stretch and by his scarcity in the off-season. Scutaro is less of a need because he is older and can be more easily replaced, but he remains a very definite want.But losing Scutaro will sting, if that is in fact what happens. It just wont sting as much now that Pagan has been retained. And you may rest assured that if Scutaro is lost, the Giants will chalk that up to freshening up the roster. Whether it is actually true or not.The Giants paid dearly for their loyalty to 2010 players in 2011, and going into 2013 with the same hand as they held in 2012 is not the best way to maximize value. But they at least solved the greater issue with Pagan, and even if Sabean never leaves his apartment this week, hell have considered it good work well done.

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