It has been known for some time that the Giants had some level of interest in a reunion with Hunter Pence, but newly arising indications are that a deal could be coming together.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets that the sides have held “serious talks” for some time now. In fact, a tipster told Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports (Twitter link) that Pence is on his way to San Francisco. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports that there are indeed ongoing negotiations, but also that “no deal is done yet.”
Taken together, it seems there’s a rather clear indication that Pence could end up returning to the Giants, even if we can’t yet presume that a deal will be completed. If indeed things come together, no shortage of fans of the team will be thrilled to see Pence back in the bay.
Though his first stint with the Giants didn’t end on a high note, as Pence struggled through his last two seasons with the club, he’s fondly remembered for his contributions on and off the field. And Pence was quite productive for the most part with the Giants. He had a nice run from 2013 through 2016, slashing a robust .281/.339/.463 and hitting 69 home runs.
Pence rebounded in a big way after landing with the Rangers last winter. He posted a .297/.358/.552 batting line in 316 plate appearances. Statcast figures were rather positive, recording 84.7th percentile sprint speed, 91.4 mph average exist velocity, and a 10.1 degree mean launch angle that far exceeded his prior levels.
It’s a good fit on several levels for a Giants team that remains in transition. Pence would presumably function as a part-time player who’d appeal to fans, add some pop, and serve as a mentor to the organization’s younger players.