6:52pm: Pence is not in the deal that will send Moore to the Rangers, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Shea and colleague Henry Schulman (Twitter links) add that, while Pence is not currently being dealt and has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause, it’s likely the Giants are trying to move him.
5:55pm: The Giants are nearing a significant swap that will open up payroll space, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). The pact will involve either or both of lefty Matt Moore and outfielder Hunter Pence.
Details of the arrangement — including the prospective trade partner — aren’t yet known. But Shea says a deal is in place pending physicals, so it certainly appears that a move of some kind is imminent.
While the Giants embarked upon a major effort to land high-priced star Giancarlo Stanton earlier in the offseason, there have been rumblings that the club may shift gears given how things have shaken out thus far. While there’s still no reason to believe that a rebuilding effort is afoot, the Giants may attempt the difficult task of improving their competitiveness without going past the luxury tax line in 2018.
Moore, 28, is owed just $9MM this year and can be controlled for 2019 through a $10MM club option (otherwise he’ll be owed a $750K buyout). That’s not the bargain it once seemed likely to be, but sill seems a reasonable price for a youthful pitcher. While he struggled to a 5.39 ERA in 2017, Moore’s peripherals were within his usual range, he was much more effective in 2016, and he has been at full health of late.
The respected Pence, meanwhile, fell off drastically in 2017 after a long run of well-above-average production at the plate. Over 539 plate appearances, Pence managed only a .260/.315/.385 slash line. He is set to earn a hefty $18.5MM in the final season of his contract, which seems a fair bit more than he’d command on the open market. Of course, there’s still value in a hard-working player who might be seen as a rebound candidate. But it’s important to note that Pence enjoys full no-trade rights and has become a Bay Area fixture.