Friday, November 4, 2011

Mets maybe interested in Ankiel

Angel Pagan is projected to make approx. 4.7M through arbitration, Pagan's offensive productuion dropped in 2011 but that's not the most troubling aspect of his declining game.  There were base running gaffes, poor routes to balls, lobbing throws back into the infield and poor clubhouse demeanor. 

Rick Ankiel would provide a superior arm, excellent defense, all at a lower price but his offense could be significantly less then even a declining Pagan would provide.  Ankiel made 1.5M last year with another 0.45M in incentives.  He only hit .239 but his on base percentage wasn't that far off from Angel's, if the Mets are set on respleacing Pagan, Ankiel isn't the risk or cost of Crisp/Sizemore. 

His is a name loaded with Disney drama and back-page dishonor, but Rick Ankiel could be the right outfielder for the price. Team insiders - while noting that Pagan might still return, and that they have not contacted Ankiel’s agent or decided to pursue him - have not shot down the notion, and point out that Ankiel, the free agent who earned $1.5 million last season with the Washington Nationals, might be precisely the type of short-term replacement for Pagan that the Mets are seeking.

The difference in salary between Pagan, 30, and an alternative such as Ankiel is key. The Mets are trying to cut payroll by about $30 million, a project that requires trimming around many edges. Pagan is talented and enjoyed a breakout year in 2010, but will likely be awarded about $5 million in salary arbitration this winter.

Ankiel, 32, batted .239 last season, with a .296 on-base percentage and a cannon arm in the outfield. The offensive numbers are far from quality, but Pagan’s on-base percentage was just .322, he pursued fly balls in circuitous fashion and lobbed them toward the infield, all while alienating his manager and many teammates with what they perceived as a sour disposition.

Several times last season Terry Collins tried to connect with Pagan, calling him into the office and asking why he was sulking. A positive clubhouse presence the year before, Pagan seem troubled by his dip in performance in 2011. Although he enjoyed a far better season at the plate than Ankiel did, some Mets officials strongly believe that Pagan will not be a good fit next year.
source Daily News

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