Extension Candidate: Hunter Pence

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has authored eight extensions since taking charge in November of 2008, so it's only natural to assume he'll attempt to lock up summer acquisition Hunter Pence.  Let's discuss Pence's situation.

Pence

Pence, 28, had the best year of his career in 2011 with a .314/.370/.502 line in 668 plate appearances.  He's averaged 156 games over the last four seasons, with right field defense generally regarded as a positive.  Pence, a client of Beverly Hills Sports Council, has four years and 156 days of Major League service time.  That means he's already been arbitration eligible twice, with two more times to go.  Pence's agency won a hearing last February, scoring a $3.4MM raise to a $6.9MM salary.  The Astros had submitted a $5.15MM figure.  In unparalleled work done exclusively for MLBTR, Matt Swartz projected an even bigger raise this time, taking Pence to approximately $11.1MM for 2012.

In his prime and two seasons away from free agency, Pence may not necessarily be motivated to sign long-term at a big discount.  $23MM could work for his two arbitration years.  It'd be difficult to make a case that Pence deserves Ryan Braun/Matt Kemp money to buy out free agent years, which would be $19-21MM a season.  The $17-18MM range we saw with Jayson Werth and Matt Holliday could work, though those seven-year deals were reached by Scott Boras on the open market.  Pence might be able to get a six-year free agent deal if he remains consistent in 2012-13.  If the Phillies are willing to buy out six free agent years now at $16MM apiece, the total eight-year commitment could approach $120MM.  I think the floor for a Pence contract has to be five free agent seasons at $15MM each, bringing a seven-year deal to almost $100MM.

Pence turns 29 in April.  He one shot at a huge long-term deal in his career, and if he signs now, $100MM is a reasonable target.  The Phillies probably consider Cole Hamels a more pressing concern, but another big year from Pence will either drive the price higher or close the door on a long-term extension altogether.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


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46 Comments on "Extension Candidate: Hunter Pence"


chico65
3 years 6 months ago

Something tells me he’ll be hunting for more than a few pence, too.

WolandJR
3 years 6 months ago

Can the author of this comment please edit it to make it less crappy?

chico65
3 years 6 months ago

I guess you’ve already had your fill of crap today, judging from that ring around your mouth ūüėČ

3 years 6 months ago

Give Pence Jayson Werth type money? Look how that’s worked out for the Nats. Sorry, but neither Werth nor Pence is up to the level of Matt Holliday.

Jose_Bautista
3 years 6 months ago

It’s like a DUH! thing.

ColonelTom
3 years 6 months ago

Pence just had a career year fueled by an unsustainable .361 BABIP.¬† Amaro couldn’t pick a worse time to negotiate a long-term extension.¬† Pence is a solid player, and I love his enthusiasm, but he’s nowhere close to a $100M player.

jwsox
3 years 6 months ago

depends though 100 mill over 5-6 no¬† 100 over 7-8(the 6th,7th, and 8th years being options, either play, club or vesting) maybe…i know its a long time but its not like the guys game is based 100% of speed which goes away he is a contact hitter, those guys tend to age pretty well

MadmanTX
3 years 6 months ago

Thank you, Ed Wade and Uncle Drayton for getting rid of a franchise player.

vonhayesdays
3 years 6 months ago

you wont be so mad when , cosart, singleton and prehaps domingo santana are playing for stros in the near future , if you dont trade them away too, oh wait you fired ed wade , so maybe their is hope 

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

That was our problem.  Hunter Pence was our franchise player. 

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

Like vonhayesdays said you’re saying that now but we gave up a ransom for him. Will end up being Ed Wade’s best trade if everyone stays healthy.

Jose_Bautista
3 years 6 months ago

100 Mil for someone who posts .800 OPS?

Damn.

Bautista’s contract looks really good right now!

chico65
3 years 6 months ago

Don’t you mean *my* contract?

vtadave
3 years 6 months ago

Pretty sure that deal was looking pretty good before this post.

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 6 months ago

I’m surprised teams don’t point to that contract more often.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

There’s a lot of circumstances that apply to Jose Bautista that don’t apply to most other free agents to be.

vonhayesdays
3 years 6 months ago

he should get jason bay money and not a penny more ,and  bautista most want to slap his agent for losing 30 mil and having to play home games on a carpet 

grownice
3 years 6 months ago

¬†Really? And you weren’t one of those people saying omg what a dumb contract for a guy who had one fluke year? I dont buy it.

chico65
3 years 6 months ago

When did you grow those nice ones?

grownice
3 years 6 months ago

 Born with them chico

chico65
3 years 6 months ago

Hubba hubba ūüėČ I was away for a few days and pleasantly surprised upon my return.

vonhayesdays
3 years 6 months ago

errrrr wrong again nice guy , i dont think he should have signed the deal , but i cant blame him for doing so , bigtime pay out for one year of production

jwsox
3 years 6 months ago

im pretty sure even Jose’s agent said…hmmmm its only really been a year and a half this is a ton of money…lets sign this and not risk him only being a flash in the pan or getting injured..

vonhayesdays
3 years 6 months ago

no i agree , you know what they say hind site is always 20-20

nm344
3 years 6 months ago

Absolutely no rush to extend Hunter. ¬†Let him play out 2012 then we’ll see. ¬†I’m sure RAJ is busy working on Cole’s extension first and possibly Victorino’s

dylanp5030
3 years 6 months ago

Cole yes, but Shane will be gone. Mayberry will take over in CF or they will go after Bourn. All depends on Gillies This year in AA

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

I’d hope they’d go after Bourn. I’d love him and Rollins at the top of the Phillies line up.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

I think the nats will eye Bourne..isn’t he a phi farm guy originally?

3 years 6 months ago

Pence is a good player, but not a centerpiece.  He is the type of guy you let someone else overpay.  Hopefully that is what RAJ does. 

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

I hope they keep him. This guy is a franchise type talent unlike Jayson Werth.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

he had a career year..like werth in ’10. but i suspect amaro is going to be smarter than rizzo and realize that

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

A full year in our line up next year could very well see him put up a .300 average, 25 home runs and about 100 RBI’s. If he does that, Ruben will most likely still end up overpaying.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

yeah hm well we’ll see.. at least he doesn’t have boras, so that’ll save you another 20 or so million

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Button up that jersey, Hunter.

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

Whoever wrote this article is seriously over valuing the market. $100M for Hunter Pence?!?!?!? 

chico65
3 years 6 months ago

I thought the same thing about Jose Reyes.

3 years 6 months ago

Jose Reyes was among the elite at his position offensively. Historically, his offense+base running compare with Crawford’s numbers but he’s a switch hitter and plays an elite defensive position – not a corner outfield spot. There’s no way Pence is the best or 2nd best RF in the NL whereas one could argue something like that for Reyes.

hgr900
3 years 6 months ago

Hunter Pence is the MAN

redsx968
3 years 6 months ago

Any fantasy people have any idea what round Pence would go in in a 12-team H2H league? I feel like he’s still kinda underrated in fantasy.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

I’d probably say 3rd or fourth. It’s just hard to tell… I’ve seen Mariano Rivera taken top 7 overall.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

I hope they sign this guy to a long term deal. Love the energy and the hustle this guy brings to the table. He’s got some serious power, makes a ton of contact… that said, Washington screwed up his market completely and it’s going to cost the Phillies to do business.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

hehehe :)

3 years 6 months ago

I think he will get a 14.5 AAV over 5 years on the open market.

jwsox
3 years 6 months ago

Is he a true franchise player? no…but he is the perfect type of guy to build with/ around? yes.¬† He may never hit 30 hrs, and never steal 30 bases but he plays solid D gets on base and is aggressive also he knows when to choke up on the bat(something you dont see very much any more). Honestly I think he is an ideal #2/#3 hitter someone who can hit for good average decent power has ok speed to get on for the mashers infront of him. I hope Howard is healthy and back to hitting like howard because a full year of rollins-shane-pence-utley(healthy)-howard(healthy is fun and im not even a phillies fan

Sniderlover
3 years 6 months ago

It would surprise me if Pence got what Holliday did. Holliday has been a much better player over their careers (career .101 OPS better!).

Holliday past 5 seasons WAR: 5.0, 6.7, 5.6, 6.2, 7.7
Pence past 5 seasons WAR: 4.7, 3.2, 4.0, 3.5, 3.9

Pence has been consistent and durable but he’s not nearly as good as Holliday. You could make a case with Werth but that one was a hefty overpayment but if Pence can get a GM to bite on it, go for it.

On a side note, Holliday and Fielder have the same career OPS while being a better baserunner + good defensively. Heh, maybe Holliday is underpaid.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

They’re not really the same type of player at all other than the positions they play. Jayson Werth is more willing to take a walk where Hunter is a much more aggressive hitter. (Personally, I hated Jayson Werth’s approach at the plate, love Hunter’s).