Giants, Pagan agree to 4-year deal

Giants general manager Brian Sabean can check two big boxes off

his winter to-do list.

San Francisco and free-agent center fielder Angel Pagan agreed

to a $40 million, four-year contract Monday as the winter meetings

got under way in Nashville, Tenn.

Bobby Evans, the team’s vice president of baseball operations,

said the deal with Pagan was ”very close” and the leadoff hitter

would be subject to a physical to finalize his return to the

reigning World Series champions.

Retaining Pagan was among the top priorities for Sabean this

offseason, along with keeping recently re-signed left-handed

reliever Jeremy Affeldt and second baseman Marco Scutaro. Affeldt

received an $18 million, three-year contract Nov. 14.

The 31-year-old Pagan batted .288 with eight home runs, 56 RBIs

and a San Francisco-best 15 triples in his first season with the

Giants. Pagan said late in the season and again after the World

Series parade that he hoped to return, but wanted to test free

agency and sought some job security in the form of a multiyear

deal.

On Friday, Sabean said the club had made backup plans to move

forward without Pagan or Scutaro in case neither decided to re-sign

– but progress with Pagan apparently happened during the weekend

after Sabean said, ”We don’t have a deal, so that tells you we’re

not close.”

Whether NL championship series MVP Scutaro returns is still a

question. He very well could have a new suitor in the mix after the

New York Yankees said Monday that third baseman Alex Rodriguez will

have surgery on his left hip and could be lost until the 2013

All-Star break.

Sabean said he likely wouldn’t address his bullpen until after

first negotiating with the representatives for Pagan and

Scutaro.

The 37-year-old Scutaro hit .362 with three homers and 44 RBIs

in 61 games with the Giants after he was acquired in a trade with

the Colorado Rockies.

San Francisco declined Friday to tender a contract to closer

Brian Wilson, who is recovering from a second Tommy John surgery on

his right elbow.

NOTES: Giants senior vice president of communications Staci

Slaughter received the 2012 Robert O. Fishel Award for Public

Relations Excellence on Monday night in Nashville.