San Francisco Giants need to re-sign Hunter Pence

Hunter Pence has been one of the very few highlights for the Giants this year. Will they let him escape via free agency? Photo: Hunter Pence has played himself into very lucrative contract next year/AP

LOS ANGELES, September 16, 2013 — The San Francisco Giants are out of the playoff race. Their defense of the World Series they won last year failed miserably after bringing nearly everybody back. One bright spot, especially recently, has been Hunter Pence. He is batting .421 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs in the Month of September.

The Giants just took three games of a four-game series from the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Pence was a monster in this series. He batted .471 with five homeruns, 12 RBIs and seven runs scored. He hit one homerun in each of the first three games, then on Sunday, Pence blasted two homeruns against the Dodgers. On the year, Hunter Pence is batting .295 with 25 homeruns and 92 RBIs. He has also chipped in 21 stolen bases.


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Hunter Pence makes diving catch/AP

The Milwaukee Brewers originally drafted Pence in the 40th round out of Arlington High School. He did not sign though, and instead decided to go to the University of Texas at Arlington. Two years later, in 2004, Pence was drafted in the second round of the amateur draft by the Houston Astros.

Hunter Pence, or Captain Underpants as he is nicknamed, played four seasons with the Astros before being traded to Philadelphia in 2011, his fifth season in the big leagues. Pence never played a full season in Philadelphia, however, as he was traded the following year to the Giants.

The move proved fruitful for San Francisco, as Pence took a major role on the field and in the locker room. As a member of the Giants, Pence helped propel the team to their second World Series title in just three years.


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For his career, Pence’s 162-game averages25 homeruns and 94 RBIs with a .287/.340/.478 slash line. This year will be the first time that Pence is able to test the waters of free agency.

Hunter Pence has said that he is open to returning to the Giants. The feeling appears to be mutual, as San Francisco really does not have any other options in their farm system to replace Pence’s production. If they opt to not bring him back, they will need to sign another player through free agency and there are no guarantees that they will be able to sign a player like Pence.

The only obstacle would depend on what kind of money Pence will be looking for and the amount of years. Pence will be 31 years old in April. With the average player that is not taking steroids or other banned substances beginning his decline between the ages of 32 and 34, perhaps a four-year deal would the best case scenario for the Giants. The player, however, is going to want at least a six-year deal. One could speculate that a five-year contract will be most likely for Pence.

As far as money goes, the Giants and Hunter Pence avoided an arbitration hearing before the 2013 season by agreeing to a one-year $13.8 million deal. Surely, Pence is going to want a raise. A five-year deal worth $80 million would not be out of the question for Pence and would likely make both parties happy.

Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for The Washington Times Communities and also writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

 


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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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