I understand the frustration with Angel Pagan this season. His defense and offense have both taken a step back, he hasn’t made anything close to an accurate throw in a month, and he’s good for a head-scratcher every few weeks. I get it. He’s the sort of player that causes jaws to drop, for good and bad, and things to be thrown at televisions.
But Angel Pagan also been one of the Mets better players this season despite all that. He’s about been a tick above average offensively (.265/.324/.388, seven home runs and 26 steals), and even with his questionable defense this season, he’s been a good defensive center fielder (+3.1 UZR) for his career. Just watch the video above. These kinds of players don’t grow on trees, nor do they grow in the dirt like potatoes and cabbage patch children, so any talk about non-tendering Pagan after the season is crazy. I’m obviously not the only person who thinks this, and we’ve talked about this on the Mostly Mets podcast, but it’s worth repeating again and again.
And, on top of all that, he’s one season removed from being the Mets’ best player and the 21st best among position players in all baseball.
Not that he hasn’t been amazing frustrating at times this season. He threw a live ball to the opposing first base coach — that actually happened. But Angel Pagan is a good player, a good player having a bad year. But he’s a good player, and the Mets should be gathering up good players, not letting them walk away over $2 million in arbitration.