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Pagan May Be a Non-Tender Candidate

Posted By Jim Mancari On Jul 26 2011 @ 4:40 pm In New York Mets | No Comments

So with Carlos Beltran likely calling somewhere else home within a few days, the Mets must look to fill a hole in right field long-term.

Lucas Duda will likely get the bulk of the playing time, but he’s really a first baseman. Imagine Duda having to deal with the Mo’s Zone for an entire season?

Today, reports surfaced that Angel Pagan, who has missed the last two games due to dizziness, could be a candidate to be non-tendered this winter, meaning the Mets will not offer him a contract.

Pagan has been a disappointment this season after a breakout year last year. So far, the new management regime has not been too impressed with the “Angel in the outfield.”

He’s trying too hard to hit home runs rather than let his normal game of speed and contact hitting dominate his play. Usually a sound defender, Pagan has looked lost in center field, especially with his decisions to overthrow cutoff men allowing trailing base runners to move up.

So what does the future hold for Pagan? He became a fan and organization favorite last year, so much so that it allowed him to be named the team’s center fielder ahead of the All-Star Beltran.

With Beltran likely on the way out and now with reports that the team could move on from Pagan, just who is going to man the cavernous outfield at Citi Field next season?

The Mets have a few talented young outfield prospects in Cory Vaughn, Cesar Puello, Darrell Ceciliani and Matt den Dekker, but only den Dekker is as high as Double-A.

On the Triple-A level, the oft-injured Fernando Martinez and the currently injured Kirk Nieuwenheis would be the only remote possibilities for Major League action.

If the team gets rid of Beltran and Pagan, most likely they would search for an outfielder via free agency or trade who can fill one of those spots. There are some decent free agent outfielders available next offseason, but none as good as Beltran.

If the team brings in a veteran outfielder, we may see an open competition for the final outfield spot in spring training.

There’s an easy solution to this dilemma, however: Pagan regains his form from last year. He’s a dynamic athlete that can be part of this team for a long time. He just has to return to the facets of his game—speed and defense—that made him successful.

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