Reminiscing on the time the Cubs traded Angel Pagan


Reminiscing on the time the Cubs traded Angel Pagan

As the Cubs almost pulled off a shocking trade Friday night, it got me thinking about another trade the organization probably wishes to have back.

Angel Pagan's name has been everywhere the past few weeks -- even in Taco Bell -- as the starting centerfielder and leadoff hitter for the World Champion Giants.

Cubs fans remember him when he was just a kid making his MLB debut in the 2006 season. He played 77 games that year for the Cubs and appeared in 71 the following season, getting time at all three outfield spots.

He only totaled 348 plate appearances in those two years, and the Cubs wound up trading Pagan to the Mets, the organization that drafted him in 1999.

Dealing a young outfielder with a career .716 minor-league OPS isn't exactly groundbreaking. But the Cubs did not come out on top in this one particular deal.

In January 2008, the Cubs sent Pagan to the Mets for outfielder Corey Coles and right-hander Ryan Meyers. Both guys spent just a year in the Cubs' minor-league system and then that was that. They were out of baseball after the 2008 season.

Pagan, meanwhile, has turned into a pretty good major-leaguer, having racked up a .281.334.415 line with 98 steals and 243 runs over the past three seasons, two of which were in New York before he was dealt to San Francisco prior to the start of 2012.

It's no Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio by any means, but it's still interesting to look back at. Good for Pagan for getting a ring, though.

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

The Blackhawks’ starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain’s confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should’ve gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews’ goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He’s getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen.”

2. Great start. This hasn’t been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn’t the Blackhawks’ best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 26 of 28 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford “looked like he was in control.”

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he’s been very good. When he’s been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ second goal. Kempny didn’t play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team’s road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. “Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it’s man coverage, sometimes it’s playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff,” Quenneville said. “Defenseman is a tough position as you’re growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he’s making progress.”

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik’s 11th goal of the season in the first period.