Hunter Pence Rumors
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) notes that the Phillies sent money to the Giants in the Hunter Pence deal. The Giants still won't have an easy time finding an outfielder, but money shouldn't hinder their pursuit.
- As General Manager Brian Sabean insisted yesterday, the Giants' pursuit of Hunter Pence started long before whispers of Cabrera's suspension began circulating, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Schulman notes that the Giants tried to get Pence last July, when Cabrera was still a member of the Royals.
- However, the price tag for Pence was different this time around, Schulman tweets. The Astros were seeking Zack Wheeler plus another prospect for Pence and were seeking the same for Michael Bourn. The Giants acquired Pence from the Phillies for right fielder Nate Schierholtz, minor league reliever Seth Rosin, and minor league catcher/first baseman Tommy Joseph.
We took a look at both Western divisions earlier today, now we'll zero in on just the National League side..
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) wonders if Jeff Francoeur could be a fit for the Giants. Rosenthal notes that the outfielder, owed $6.75MM next season, would likely would clear waivers. However, the Royals couldn't be expected to just give him away.
- It has been widely speculated that the Giants acquired Hunter Pence as a response to rumors surrounding Melky Cabrera's possible suspension, but GM Brian Sabean denied that being a factor, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. "We tried to acquire [Pence] at the deadline last year and he was going to be a Giant if we could find a way to do it this year," Sabean said. The GM also said that there was nothing "too compelling or interesting" available on the waiver wire.
- The new Padres ownership could take the club in a number of directions, writes Chris Jenkins of U-T San Diego. The sale of the team is now complete as it was approved at the owners meetings this week.
The Reds have been nearly unbeatable since losing their top player to injury and now have the best record in baseball at 64-41. Here are today's NL Central links after another Reds win...
- The Pirates considered and rejected a trade that would have sent two minor leaguers to Arizona for Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (on Twitter). The prospects -- not Jameson Taillon or Luis Heredia -- are at the mid-to-low levels of Pittsburgh's farm system.
- The Phillies asked the Pirates for Starling Marte, Brad Lincoln and more in possible trades for Hunter Pence, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The Phillies ultimately obtained Nate Schierholtz, minor league reliever Seth Rosin and minor league catcher/first baseman Tommy Joseph from the Giants for Pence.
- MLB terminated the contract between the Cardinals and right-handed pitching prospect Andres Serrano, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. The Cardinals had signed the Dominican for $750K, but he failed the age and identity sections of his investigation, according to Badler. Brian Walton of TheCardinalNation.com had the story last month.
The trade deadline is officially behind us, but expect to see a number of waiver trades this month as teams begin to fall out of contention. Here's the latest from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday...
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox held onto Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach at the deadline despite trade interest because they wanted to keep as many impact bats as possible while David Ortiz is on the DL. They also want to maintain catching depth.
- "Absolutely. That would be wonderful," said Hunter Pence to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com when asked about signing long-term with the Giants (Twitter link). San Francisco acquired Pence yesterday.
- Earlier today we heard that the Mets and Marlins discussed a trade involving Jason Bay, Heath Bell, and John Buck, but Mike Puma of The New York Post reports (on Twitter) that Bay was never asked to waive his no-trade clause.
- ESPN's Jim Bowden graded each team's trade deadline activity, giving the Angels and Dodgers an A and an A-, respectively. The rebuilding Astros received a B+.
Items out of the AL and NL West..
- Despite their acquisition of Ryan Dempster, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (video link) still has doubts about the Rangers' starting rotation. With Roy Oswalt being less-than-stellar for Texas, the club needs to have Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, and Yu Darvish to be exceptional in the second-half.
- Further hurting the Rangers rotation is the news that pitcher Neftali Feliz is out for the season after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament and will undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, writes Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. General manager Jon Daniels admitted that the club knew about Feliz's injury for a few days but didn't want to say anything until after the deadline.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean said there is flexibility to re-sign both Melky Cabrera and Hunter Pence, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. The Giants acquired Pence from the Phillies for right fielder Nate Schierholtz and minor leaguers Seth Rosin and Tommy Joseph.
The Phillies traded Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino this morning and the Marlins followed up those moves by trading Gaby Sanchez and Edward Mujica later in the day. The Braves welcomed new acquisitions Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta, but deadline day was relatively quiet for the Mets and Nationals. Here are the latest notes from the NL East...
- The Phillies are slightly under the luxury tax limit following today’s trades, GM Ruben Amaro told reporters, including Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). The Phillies opened the season with a $172MM payroll, and the MLB luxury tax affects teams that spend more than $178MM.
- At one point the Phillies considered trading Hunter Pence, obtaining a center fielder, and re-signing Shane Victorino for right field, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Instead, the Dodgers acquired Victorino, and the Giants traded for Pence.
- Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson drew interest from the Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Reds and others, but Miami kept him, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes (on Twitter).
- GM Mike Rizzo said the Nationals made all their splashy moves this past winter, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. "We like who we are, and we like where we’re at and we like the composition of the roster,” Rizzo said.
The Giants have to have bolstered their lineup with an All-Star caliber outfielder for the second consecutive summer. They acquired right fielder Hunter Pence from the Phillies for right fielder Nate Schierholtz, minor league reliever Seth Rosin and, minor league catcher/first baseman Tommy Joseph the Phillies announced.
Pence, 29, is hitting .271/.336/.447 in 440 plate appearances for the Phillies this year. He's under team control for 2013, though his salary could exceed $14MM. He'll boost a Giants lineup that ranks 11th in the NL with four runs scored per game. GM Brian Sabean snagged one of the best bats on the trade market last summer as well with Carlos Beltran, but Pence is more than a rental.
Pence joined the Phillies one year ago in a trade with the Astros, but amidst a disappointing season GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is cleaning house. Less than an hour ago, the Dodgers acquired another member of the Phillies' outfield in Shane Victorino. Los Angeles also acquired Hanley Ramirez and Brandon League, creating pressure for their NL West rivals.
Schierholtz, 28, appears to have requested a trade after seeing his playing time diminish. T he left-handed hitter has a .257/.327/.429 batting line in 196 plate appearances this year and a .270/.319/.412 line in his six-year career. He's earning $1.3MM this year and can be retained through 2014 via the arbitration process.
Rosin, a 23-year-old right-hander, stand 6'6". He has a 4.31 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 56 1/3 innings at Class A so far this year. The 2010 fourth round pick has struck out three times as many batters as he has walked in the minor leagues.
Joseph, 21, is hitting .260/.313/.391 in 335 Double-A plate appearances this year. Baseball America wrote before the season that the 2009 second-rounder should be able to stay at catcher.
Jon Heyman first reported the trade today. Two days ago, Dennis O'Donnell of KPIX was first to report that the Giants had a deal in place for Pence involving Joseph. Todd Zolecki first reported that Rosin was in the trade. Danny Knobler confirmed Joseph's role in the trade.
Phillies right fielder Hunter Pence holds extra appeal since he's under team control for 2013, even if he could earn more than $14MM next year. The latest:
- The Giants are closing in on a deal for Pence, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Pence to the Giants talk is pretty hot, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
- Just prior to the Dodgers wrapping up their deal for Shane Victorino, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the Phillies were still discussing a Pence deal with the Giants. They apparently are willing to trade two starting outfielders.
Earlier today, Yahoo's Jeff Passan wrote that the Phillies haven't shopped center fielder Shane Victorino nearly as aggressively as right fielder Hunter Pence, even though Victorino will be eligible for free agency after the season and Pence is under team control for 2013. The latest on the Phillies' outfielders:
- The Dodgers and Reds seem to be the last two Victorino suitors remaining, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweets.
- The Giants are discussing Pence, but not Victorino, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Reds still want a leadoff hitter and Victorino has been their top target, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. The Reds don't like the Phillies' asking price for Victorino, and their interest in Pierre seems to have been exaggerated, Knobler writes.
- The Dodgers are more likely to acquire Victorino, but they're also in on Pence, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Reds appear to be zeroing in on Pierre, writes ESPN's Jayson Stark. He says the Dodgers look like the frontrunner on Victorino, while teams that have checked in on Pence believe the Phillies will wait until the offseason.
- The Phillies' asking price on Victorino is outrageous, an executive of one team tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Orioles have interest in Victorino, Pence, and Juan Pierre, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, who notes Pierre is the best fit cost-wise. The Reds have quietly evaluated Pierre as a possible target since June, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, and USA Today's Bob Nightengale says the Reds' coaching staff loves him.
- The Pirates did not seem alive on Victorino as of late last night, tweeted Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Giants, Reds, and Dodgers have been named as other potential suitors for the 31-year-old. Victorino is hitting .261/.324/.401 in 431 plate appearances this year.
- The Phillies have pushed Pence but want a big return, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Salisbury says most interest is on Victorino and starter Joe Blanton.
8:31pm: There's some juice to the trade talks and a deal "could happen," Heyman tweets. The Giants remain determined to acquire a hitter.
2:43pm: There is no Pence deal in place or close between the Giants and Phillies, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
12:09pm: The Giants are talking to the Phillies about Pence, confirms Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. However, ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Giants "appear to have too many payroll issues and too few chips to make that deal work right now." Stark mentions the Justin Morneau idea for San Francisco, which Heyman alluded to earlier today. Morneau, however, will make more money than Pence through next year.
10:36am: "It would be a shocker" if the Giants don't acquire an outfielder before the trade deadline, writes ESPN's Buster Olney. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports agrees that the Giants are seeking an outfielder. The Giants have been linked to the Phillies' Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino, but it appears no deal is in place currently.