Giants and Angel Pagan avoid arbitration with one-year, $4.85 million deal

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According to Janie McCauley of the Associated Press, the Giants and outfielder Angel Pagan have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.85 million contract. The deal includes $150,000 in incentives based on plate appearances.

Pagan, who was arbitration-eligible for the final time this offseason, made $3.5 million with the Mets in 2011 while batting .262/.322/.372 with seven home runs, 56 RBI, 32 stolen bases and a .694 OPS. The 30-year-old led all major-league center fielders with 10 errors.

Acquired from the Mets in December in exchange for outfielder Andres Torres and right-hander Ramon Ramirez, Pagan is expected to be the Giants’ regular center fielder and leadoff man this season.

The Giants still have six arbitration-eligible players left to deal with in the days ahead, including ace right-hander Tim Lincecum.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.