Mutual interest between Hunter Pence and the San Francisco Giants could bring the veteran back to the Bay Area.
The San Francisco Giants are looking for depth in the outfield in the form of some veteran leadership. Hunter Pence is looking for a job, plain and simple. The price could be right for the two to get back together setting up a return to Oracle Park for a man who spent seven years there previously.
Pence spent last season with the Texas Rangers after signing a minor league contract in early February. After hitting .315 with an OPS of .957 and stealing a team-high seven bases in spring training, Pence was added to the Major League roster and given a contract worth $2 million.
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When the season started Pence was relegated to spot starts and pinch-hitting appearances. However, all he did was hit and ultimately hit himself into the everyday lineup by mid-April. Pence was stroking at a clip of .297 with 18 home runs when his season was cut short because of a lower back strain.
Now, a healthy Hunter Pence is looking for a job and his old employer has shown interest. When the Giants jettisoned Kevin Pillar they left their 40 man roster bare of experienced outfielders. Bringing in the likes of Pence could help ease the transition for the younger corps while providing an established veteran presence.
Pence may have been rejuvenated in Texas from the added rest of being the designated hitter, rather than playing regularly in the field. He wouldn’t have that luxury in San Francisco, but he would likely platoon in right field to rest his thirty-seven-year-old legs. This has the feel of a low risk-potentially high reward addition for the Giants.
Dare the Giants risk offering a minor league contract and insulting him?
No! They’d be wise to offer a guaranteed $1 million deal with the opportunity for Pence to add more through performance-based incentives.