Pagan in picture, it appears ... by default

November, 15, 2011
11/15/11
7:32
PM ET
Apparently, the Mets may not have a new starting position player in 2012 -- unless you count Ruben Tejada sliding over to shortstop and Daniel Murphy becoming the primary second baseman assuming Jose Reyes departs.

Despite organizational dissatisfaction with Angel Pagan, insiders suggest the Mets have concluded they probably will not be able to find another center fielder who can produce at a capable level for a lesser cost.

Pagan is arbitration-eligible and would get a raise from the $3.5 million he received this season.

Asked if Pagan would be the Opening Day center fielder in 2012, Sandy Alderson said: “Quite possibly. I think Angel gave us quite a bit that maybe was underappreciated. Maybe the defense was not up to his expectation or even ours. But he gave us some speed on the bases. He filled in, I think, reasonably well for Jose when he was out, filled in at the top of the lineup. So I think there were some positive things there that maybe were overlooked by some people. If we have Angel in center field to begin next season, I think we’ll be happy with that.”

The Mets, for the record, have not resolved to lose Reyes just yet. SI.com reported the Mets believe they can stay in the competition for Reyes if the reported Marlins bid of six years, $90 million is accurate. Then again, that bid -- if accurate -- appears to be only a starting point for the Marlins.

“I think Angel can be valuable to us whether we have Jose or not,” Alderson said. “Could he be our leadoff guy? I think he probably could. That’s something that Terry (Collins) and Angel would probably work through initially. But even if we have Jose, having that extra speed dimension is important. If you take Jose out and Angel out of the equation, there’s not a lot of speed offensively. I think Angel can be a valuable piece for us.”

As Day 2 of the GM Meetings wound down, Alderson said he had not yet had in-person meetings with agents -- just telephone dialogue.

As for trade talks, Alderson said: “It’s hard not to bump into people from other clubs. We’ve had some conversations, but nothing serious.”
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187