Pence will earn $3MM, according to Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter). There’s another $2.5MM available through incentives, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). That includes $1MM in roster bonuses and another $1.5MM based upon plate appearances (beginning with his 450th), Crowley adds via Twitter.
Pence will add a right-handed-hitting component to a San Francisco outfield mix that is due to feature lefty hitters Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, and Steven Duggar. The 36-year-old will have to hold off a few alternative candidates to carve out a role. The Giants will take a look in camp at Austin Slater. Jaylin Davis, Joey Rickard, Brandon Guyer, and others.
It seems reasonable to expect that we’ll see the 36-year-old Pence back in a Giants uniform. Beyond his fit from a roster perspective, Pence certainly suits the desire for some nostalgia as the team prepares for its first season without Madison Bumgarner. Pence was with the club for its trying 2017 and 2018 campaigns but also for two of its World Series-winning efforts in the preceding seasons.
Over parts of 13 seasons and nearly seven thousand plate appearances in the majors, Pence carries a .280/.335/.462 batting line — about 16% above the league average hitter. Pence has never walked a ton (7.4% career) and has typically exhibited good but not exceptional pop (.182 isolated power). He’s a four-time All-Star who has three 4+ fWAR seasons — at his best, a very good (and always an exceedingly likable) player.
When last he roamed Oracle (then AT&T) Park, Pence seemed to be firmly on the wane as a big leaguer. His own struggles in those ’17 and ’18 seasons mirrored and contributed to those of the ballclub at large. Pence managed only a .249/.297/.368 cumulative slash, well off his typical pace, while finishing out the five-year deal he signed at the end of the 2013 season.
When Pence finally did hit the open market, he settled for a minor-league deal with the Rangers. It was hard to expect much, but Pence ended up reworking his swing to great effect. He produced loud contact and a much steeper launch angle than he had previously, a nice combination that combined with a leaguewide power surge to enable Pence to launch 18 long balls in just 316 plate appearances. It wasn’t just the overall MLB jetstream; Pence finished with a 128 wRC+, the fourth-highest mark in his career.