Quick Hits: Pence, Westbrook, Abreu, Astros

While it’s not a mistake on the level of the Barry Zito contract, the Giants could come to regret the Hunter Pence deal, writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs. The $90MM contract won’t stop them from winning if they can surround him with quality players on undervalue contracts, but that’s obviously easier said than done. Here’s more from around baseball..

  • Jake Westbrook can read the writing on the wall and knows that his time with the Cardinals is likely over, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Between his struggles and the Cards’ wealth of young pitching, Westbrook isn’t expected to be placed on the postseason roster. Westbrook isn’t certain if he will pitch in 2014 and plans to discuss with his family in the offseason.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America spoke with international sources to identify five teams that could sign Jose Dariel Abreu.  The White Sox, Nationals, Pirates, Red Sox, and Rangers look like the frontrunners for the Cuban standout with Texas possibly having the inside track on everyone.
  • Prior to a charity event earlier today, Astros owner Jim Crane said that he plans to spend money in 2014 to help turn the club around, writes Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle. “Now we have a nucleus to draw from. And so we got that established. I think in the off-season you’ll see Jeff [Luhnow], and he’s already said it, we’re going to fill some of those holes. As the kids come up through the system we can get competitive very quick. We lost a lot of one-run games. It’s pretty obvious where our needs are, and we’ll work on those in the offseason and start loosening the purse book,” Crane said.
  • Cubs president Theo Epstein says he will look first and foremost at candidates with managerial experience, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter) notes that the Dodgers hold an option on manager Don Mattingly for 2014.  The option is worth $1.4MM, sources tell Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi.

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