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Oddly No Offer for Angel, And a Flashback to June 12

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First, today's 2012 regular-season memory, from June 12:

And why I love it:

- MadBum's first career home run. We all knew it was coming. Like Kato in Inspector Clouseau's apartment, we didn't know when, or where. Of course it went almost half way up the bleachers.

- It was symbolic. The Giants hadn't hit a home run in 16 home games. MadBum broke the streak. Then Brandon Belt -- homerless for the year -- followed, joking (kind of) after the game that Bumgarner's homer lit a fire under his ass. The Giants didn't hit a lot of home runs in 2012, but as Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey served notice in the post-season, they could hit 'em in big spots.

- If Duane Kuiper wants to use his signature home-run call as his doorbell chime, he might want to record this one. Sublime. Also, just as the clip starts Kuip says, "Blimps and wind, they don't really get along too much."  Which is so much better than "I got a weather balloon with points!"

On to today's topic at-hand: Why didn't the Giants extend Angel Pagan a "qualifying offer"? I'm surprised, even though the Giants telegraphed it for days leading up to the decision. I'm not the only one surprised.

For those of you who don't geek out on roster regulations, a quick explainer: Friday was the deadline to make a qualifying offer to new free agents. By a formula the players and owners agreed upon in last year's collective bargaining, the amount is $13.3 M. If a team offers, and the player accepts, it's settled: A contract of one year, $13.3 M. If a team offers and the player declines, the team ensures itself a compensatory draft pick if the player signs elsewhere. If a team makes no qualifying offer -- as the Giants declined to do -- then no draft pick.

The Giants can still re-sign Pagan, but if they don't, no extra draft pick. It was a weird decision. Pagan almost certainly wasn't going to accept the offer. And even if he did, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have a slightly overpaid Pagan on board for 2013. My only guess is the Giants had some hint that he might accept it, and they absolutely couldn't fit that particular $13.3 M into their budget. Both ends of that scenario seems far-fetched. Or his extreme up-and-down year, which included a self-inflicted oops-I-punched-a-wall injury, made $13 M more of an overpay that we, in our post-championship haze, care to admit. (Hark back to September for my take on the difficulty gauging Pagan's year.)

Another possibility: Making the offer might have angered Pagan, because it would have forced teams that don't have a top ten draft pick to think hard about losing their pick to sign Pagan. In other words, it would have tamped down his value. Which would make Pagan angry. Which would make him less likely to re-sign.... yeah, I don't think so either. We're grasping at straws to figure this one out. 

All we know is that Giants have effectively punted a potential draft pick. It would be great to have Angel Pagan back in center field and leading off for the next couple years, but there's a good chance someone will outbid the Giants, and now the Giants will have nothing to show for it.


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Header photo courtesy of Flickr user eviltomthai under a Creative Commons license.