On Thursday, Jon Heyman tweeted that the Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies are among the teams still potentially interested in free agent outfielder, Angel Pagan.
There are times when a team in need and an available free agent make too much sense not to happen. Take Jose Bautista returning to the Blue Jays this offseason as an example, him going elsewhere ultimately didn’t make sense for either party.
This type of scenario may be developing with Angel Pagan, the Puerto Rican outfielder who curiously remains on the free agent market, deep into March. His match with the Jays makes enough sense that the rumour just doesn’t want to go away.
We’ve covered the idea a couple times here at Jays Journal, looking at all the reasons that he makes sense in John Gibbons’ lineup. He’s a switch-hitter, asset in the on-base department, a capable defender, and a perfect platoon partner for Melvin Upton. At 35, he’s not an ideal solution for what the Blue Jays had hoped for at the onset of free agency, but he checks a lot of boxes.
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Reports surfaced last week that Pagan was still seeking 5 million or more as a free agent, which was likely enough to chase away the Blue Jays. Not that 5 million is an unreasonable figure for him, but every team reaches a spending limit at some point, bargain or not.
However, there’s no harm in coming back to see if Pagan has moved to the discount aisle yet, and my guess is that’s exactly what the Blue Jays’ brass is doing, in regards to this report. Since nobody else has stepped up and given Pagan what he’s after, I’m sure several GM’s have called to check in with his agent, and see if the mood has changed at all.
Now that the WBC is over and Pagan isn’t returning to a major league camp like nearly everyone else, the temptation to change their demands has to be there. Finding the right opportunity could prove to be the tricky part for him at this stage.
There were also reports that Pagan had an agreement in principle with the Baltimore Orioles earlier this offseason, only to fail their vaunted physical process. If true, Pagan wouldn’t be the first to fail a physical in Baltimore, joining others like Grant Balfour, Yovani Gallardo, and more. He appeared healthy in the World Baseball Classic, going 10-35 for a .286 batting average in the tournament.
For now, we’re stuck waiting to see if the Blue Jays add a new face, or if we’re just reading the same story again for the third time while we’re not so patiently waiting for Opening Day. In Pagan’s case, hopefully the third time is the charm, and the Blue Jays can find a late bargain.