SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Angel Pagan has no problem making bold statements at the start of spring training: He's calling a repeat championship for San Francisco in 2013.
With nearly the same roster returning from last fall's special run to the title — the second in three years for the franchise — Pagan figures, why not? “I think we're going to repeat,” he said upon arriving at spring training Friday. “We're positive about this team. We're going to get lucky again, like people said.”
Along one clubhouse wall at Scottsdale Stadium are the lockers for Pagan, Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez — all in a row. The three are connected in a rare scenario in which Torres and Ramirez were traded to the New York Mets for Pagan before last season, and now both are back with San Francisco alongside Pagan after they helped the Giants win the 2010 World Series.
“We may have to break that group up,” manager Bruce Bochy joked.
Longtime equipment manager Mike Murphy put them together on purpose “so they can talk about what happened.” Murphy also made a point to split up the close-knit Latino players throughout the clubhouse.
Pagan and Torres also will play together in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico.
“It fills my heart to go out there and play in front of my countrymen,” Pagan said.
Pagan kept in touch with second baseman Marco Scutaro during the offseason, then both wound up re-signing with the Giants as they had hoped.
Scutaro reached agreement on his $20 million, three-year deal with the Giants a day after Pagan was rewarded with a $40 million, four-year contract. He wanted stability for his family, and he got it.
Pagan insists nothing will change now. He plans to play with the same passion despite all the dollar signs.
“The peace of mind is there,” Pagan said. “My bank account did change, but my passion for the game didn't change. I just want to leave my heart on the field. ... I signed this contract and the expectations are really big, as well as to myself.”