The San Francisco Giants made a deadline deal in 2011 that didn't quite work out to their benefit. Brian Sabean sent Zack Wheeler to the New York Mets in exchange for outfielder Carlos Beltran -- a rental player who was scheduled to be a free agent in 2012. Now turn the page to 2012 and we have another deadline deal by Sabean for another power-hitting right fielder, but this time he is no rental.
Hunter Pence of the Philadelphia Phillies has been acquired by the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Nate Schierholtz, Tommy Joseph and Seth Rosin. It is reported that Pence is already on his way to San Francisco and could even start tonight (July 31) against the Mets -- oh, the irony that the Giants would be playing the Mets when acquiring Pence (that is if you follow what I had to say about Beltran).
There are other differences between Beltran and Pence aside from the difference in their contract status when acquired by the Giants. Pence is younger, healthier and possibly has more power than Beltran - at least from the right side of the plate (Beltran is a switch hitter). I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the best trades that Brian Sabean has made since becoming the GM of the Giants in 1996. The Melky Cabrera trade was up there and depending upon how Pence plays, it could slide in right under that one -- or possibly surpass it.
I am sad to see Schierholtz go but to acquire Pence for Schierholtz and two minor league players is a great trade. Certainly Joseph is a great catching prospect but we are already stacked at catcher and to be honest I hadn't even heard Rosin's name mentioned at any time prior to this deal, so I can't really speak on his potential. At face value this trade, in my opinion, is a spectacular one. One that will help counter Shane Victorino's move to the Los Angeles Dodgers and one that will help the Giants as they look to push towards the playoffs in just two short months.
For those of you who are curious, in 76 career at-bats at AT&T Park, Pence is hitting .329 with five home runs and 10 RBIs with a .366 OBP. Looks like the Giants have finally gotten that right-handed power bat they have been looking to insert into the middle of their lineup. Perhaps they'll be able to land some bullpen help before all is said and done.
Food for thought: Does Hunter Pence put the Giants over the top in the NL West or do they still have a lot to figure out in terms of their team? Do you feel like the Giants gave up too much for Pence or did they walk away the winner in this trade?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
MLB.com. Giants acquire Hunter, send three to Phillies. MLB 2012.
Baseball-Reference.com. Hunter Pence stats. MLB 2012.
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