SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- They keep asking Angel Pagan for comparisons, and he keeps giving them -- how AT&T Park compares with Citi Field ("No difference'') and how his new team, the Giants, compares with his old one, the Mets.
A perceived difference.
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"This team,'' he said of the Giants, "is committed to winning.'' Then after a brief pause, he added, "I'm not saying the Mets weren't committed, but these guys have a very good chance of making it to the postseason, and they're committed to getting there.''
Pagan, 30, and former Yankee Melky Cabrera, 27, arrived in separate offseason trades to give the Giants speed and power at the top of the order and defensive strength in the outfield. Another plus is that both are switch hitters.
So far, Pagan leading off and playing centerfield and Cabrera batting second and playing left have been as ordered by the Giants. "They make us more athletic,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. "They hit, they run, they catch everything.''
Pagan is an extrovert, ready with a comment, win or lose, and ready to give his teammates a lift, a personality that fits a leadoff hitter.
"I played with [Jose] Reyes. So I kind of have that injection in me,'' Pagan said. He also referred to the man for whom he was traded: "I'm kind of an energetic person, no different from Andres Torres. That's something every team needs. When you have a spark like that at the top of the order, it can change the lineup dramatically.''
Cabrera says little, and usually speaks in Spanish through a translator. He was asked if he feels added pressure trying to drive in runs for a Giants team that in 2011 had trouble scoring. With infielder Emmanuel Burriss as interpreter, Cabrera said, "My role as a baseball player is to be a baseball player, whether I'm driving in runs from the fifth or sixth spot or getting on base.''
Before the 2010 season, the Yankees traded Cabrera to the Braves, and he hit only .255. The Royals signed him as a free agent before last season, and Cabrera's career year -- .305 average, 102 runs and 201 hits -- persuaded the Giants to send lefthanded starter Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals to get him.
"I saw him here last spring with the Royals,'' Bochy said. "He was impressive.''
Pagan did not draw a walk in his first three exhibition games, but he went deep in the count.
"So far, me and Melky, one-two, it's been great,'' Pagan said. "My goal is to see a lot of pitches. I'm trying to be aggressive. AT&T is just like Citi Field, wide gaps in the outfield. Good for me, I'm a gap-to-gap hitter. And on defense, there's a lot of room to cover, but I really worked hard this offseason for that. I'm ready.''