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.

Yadier Molina responds to Willson Contreras on Instagram

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On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”

Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.

Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.

Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.