Then, after Carlos Beltran was off the market, interest in Pence again exploded yesterday and it’s gotten to the point where a deal could be announced as soon as today for the outfielder. The Phillies, Braves, Red Sox, Pirates, Reds, Rangers and Angels were all tied Pence Thursday.
As Thursday progressed, the interest of the Rangers and Angels dropped off. Then, many weren’t sure if Houston would really be interested in trading Pence within the division, which hurt the chances of the Pirates and Reds to acquire the 28 year old.
Boston is said to be waiting on the sidelines to see the outcome of talks between the two NL East teams that have become the favorites for Pence’s services, the Braves and Phillies.
Each club has been making progress towards a deal, and we are starting to learn the names of which prospects could be involved.
Philadelphia started all of this serious talk off and actually almost killed the Pence buzz around the league when it was discovered that the Astros turned down an offer that included top prospects Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton. At that point, many believed that the Astros would simply hold onto Pence for the rest of the season.
But apparently things have again picked up as teams remain desperate for offense. Philadelphia is continuing to pursue Pence with a package of Cosart and Singleton. It’s been said that outfielder Domonic Brown is not currently in the trade, but the Phillies will have to sweeten the pot somehow if they want to land Pence.
Meanwhile, the Astros are also mulling an offer from the Braves that reportedly is significant and contains some of the Braves highly-coveted young arms. The only details on the situation are that Julio Teheran is not one of the talented starters involved. That leaves the trio of Mike Minor, Arodys Vizcaino and Randall Delgado as all potentially in play.
While each have offers out there, it was believed that, as of last night, the Phillies were the favorite to land Pence.
Pence has been solid once again for the Astros in 2011, posting a line of .309/.356/.472 with 40 extra base hits and 62 RBI’s. Over his 5 seasons in the majors, Pence has maintained an OPS of .817 and hit 25 home runs from 2008 to 2010.
With Beltran headed to the Giants, Pence represents one of if not the last high level impact bat on the market. Carlos Quentin would certainly qualify, but it’s unsure if he’s going to be made available this summer and beyond those two the talent drops off to names like Ryan Ludwick and Josh Willingham.
This fact leaves the Astros in prime position to cash in, especially if they are able to play the rival Phillies and Braves off of each other in negotiations.
For more on the Astros, be sure to check out Climbing Tal’s Hill.
Tags: Arodys Vizcaino Atlanta Braves Boston Red Sox Carlos Beltran Carlos Quentin Cincinnati Reds Domonic Brown Houston Astros Hunter Pence Jared Cosart Jonathan Singleton Josh Willingham Julio Teheran Mike Minor Philadelphia Phillies Pittsburgh Pirates Randall Delgado Ryan Ludwick