Obviously, there are some differences between Angel Pagan and Andres Torres for the Giants.  Torres had ADD, for one.

Still, on its face, the Torres-Pagan swap seems like a simple deal: two similar players who had a great 2010 and underperformed in 2011, so let’s try a change of scenery.

There’s a lot to like with Pagan.  He’s a natural athlete.  He’s a better base stealer than Torres.  He has a little more raw power.  But there are things not to like.  Pagan isn’t a natural defender like Torres.  Even with more tools, Pagan takes bad routes.  And he never hit the cutoff man in New York, apparently.  I really hope he worked on that before this season

The truth is, though, that the deal was about more than getting Pagan.  Overall, I expect he’ll be a wash in regards to Torres.  Not much better, or not much worse, but definitely not much different.  The deal really was about two things.

1.) Money.  Overall, The Mets are paying slightly more for Torres and Ramirez than the Giants are for Pagan, but that $300K isn’t what it’s all about.  It’s also about the money Torres would make his next couple of years, compared to Pagan being a free agent after this season.  That plays into the bigger reason…

2.) Gary Brown.

Gary Brown will, barring injury or catastrophic failure, make his Giants debut this season.  And you bet that Sabean is expecting him to be fighting for the starting center field job next season.  He wants that spot unquestionably open for Brown.  Torres wouldn’t let that spot be open, mostly because he can’t play a corner reasonably due to his offense.

So, with Pagan, there’s a plan.  In the meantime, he seems like a likable guy.  Most Mets fans I talked to like him despite being frustrated with him.  It almost feels like I felt about Marvin Benard in 1999.  And unlike Benard, Pagan won’t outstay his welcome, or have a contract that makes him seem terrible.  At least, he won’t get that contract from the Giants.