It has not been a good year for outfielder Hunter Pence or his San Francisco Giants. If they were to move him before the deadline, here are five teams.
2017 has been one of the roughest years in a while for the San Francisco Giants. The Giants, the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies are the only teams in baseball that have not yet won 40 games this season. One of the many players having a down year for the Giants is outfielder Hunter Pence.
Pence had been a huge piece in the Giants outfield in their last two World Series runs in 2012 and 2014. He is a three-time All-Star and one of the biggest hustlers in baseball for the last decade plus. The only problem is that hustling just isn’t cutting it anymore. In 79 games for the 2017 Giants, Pence is hitting .247 with an on-base percentage of .295, slugging only .346.
At 34 years old, it might be the beginning of the end for Pence’s big league career. However, he has proven over the years to be one of the biggest gamers in the outfield. He comes through in the clutch, especially in October.
For that reason, he will have value on the trade market. If Pence is dealt by the Giants before the July 31 trade deadline, here are five teams that could be interested in his services for the rest of this year and possibly next season. Pence is under contract through 2019.
The Milwaukee Brewers have seen their lead in the NL Central evaporate almost immediately after the All-Star break. This is because the rival Chicago Cubs have caught fire in the last week or so, poised to get back into the NL postseason whatever way possible to defend their World Series title.
As for the Brewers, the Cubs’ second-half surge is problematic, as is the recent push by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In short, Milwaukee will be in an arms race with those two teams in the NL Central coming down to the deadline. Pence is a player that would fly under the radar at the deadline, but would be a good value trade if he pops down the stretch.
Given Pence’s proclivity for timely hitting in the postseason, he would be a welcomed addition to any roster he joins down the stretch for a postseason push. Milwaukee has only made the postseason on a few occasions, so it’s a big deal if the Brewers are playing in October.
Adding a guy like Pence would give the Brew Crew a bit of experience they’ll need to win in the wild card or the divisional round. Since Pence is not on an expiring contract, he could be dealt at some point next season by Milwaukee if the Brewers aren’t in contention for a postseason berth. Milwaukee has the farm system to trade for a savvy veteran like Pence if the Brewers really want to.