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Friday, April 20, 2012
Pagan 'shocked' he was traded by Mets

By Mike Mazzeo

Angel Pagan said he was “shocked” when the Mets traded him to the Giants in December, but “respects” his former team’s decision and is glad he’s in San Francisco now.

Pagan, who is batting .220 with two RBIs for the Giants, will lead off and play center field on Friday night in his first game against his former team. The Mets got center fielder Andres Torres and righty reliever Ramon Ramirez in exchange for Pagan.

Torres is on the disabled list after suffering a calf injury on Opening Day, while Ramirez has compiled a 7.11 ERA in six appearances out of the bullpen.

“It was nice to say hello, to say hi to my old teammates and coaches, and hang around the ballpark I played for four years,” Pagan said. “It was pretty good, but when the game starts, I’ll go out there and beat them. That’s what we’re gonna do.”

Pagan was watching television and saw that he would be part of the Mets’ lineup going forward, but hours later he found out he’d been dealt.

“I didn’t expect it,” Pagan said. “But I’m very happy that I got traded to this organization. My teammates are very nice people and they’re committed to winning. That’s what it’s all about.

“Sometimes teams go in different directions. And the Mets needed to rebuild the bullpen, and that’s very understandable.”

Pagan was criticized for his errors running the base paths and sometimes taking bad reads on balls in the field. There was also chatter that his personality wasn’t fitting inside the clubhouse, something he downplayed.

“I don’t think it had anything to do with my personality or whatever,” Pagan said. “I think as you guys know, I went out there and played hard every night. I gave it all to the team and I represented the organization in a professional way. That’s all you have in your power. After that, it’s just business, and I respect that all the way.”

Pagan had a career-year in 2010 (.290, 11 homers, 69 RBIs), but those numbers plummeted significantly in 2011 (.262, seven homers, 56 RBIs), prompting the Mets to go in another direction.

The 30-year-old recently had eight hits on the team’s six-game homestand -- including three triples.

“I’m just feeling more comfortable,” Pagan said. “You’re gonna have some ups and some downs. It happened that I started with a down, but it’s a long season. You have to just go out there and believe in yourself with determination, and believe that night you’re going to be able to turn it around.”