The San Francisco Giants finally made the major move fans were hoping for before the non-waiver trade deadline by acquiring the one big bat they coveted from the Philadelphia Phillies. In a four-player trade, the Giants will acquire outfielder Hunter Pence for minor league catching prospect Tommy Joseph, outfielder Nate Schierholtz, and Single-A right-handed pitcher Seth Rosin. News of Pence coming to the Giants was first reported two days ago by KPIX's Dennis O'Donnell. John Heyman of CBS Sports first reported an official deal was in place.
Pence is a 29-year-old power-hitting outfielder and a two-time All-Star during his time with the Houston Astros. While his numbers this year are lower than his career averages (.271 batting average with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs for the Phillies), he instantly becomes the team leader in home runs and improves a lineup featuring Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and Angel Pagan.
For the Giants, this move definitely helps them keep pace with the moves made by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the past week, the Dodgers have acquired infielder Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins and Shane Victorino from the Phillies, moves that will both strengthen their lineup. By acquiring Pence, the Giants add a right-handed hitter who has an excellent OPS and a .329 average in 20 career games at AT&T Park.
While Pence rumors have been swirling around for the past few weeks, the biggest concern about a potential trade was regarding the players the Giants would have to give up. With top prospect Gary Brown coveted by the Phillies, the Giants' offer features Joseph, a 21-year-old catcher who was playing for Double-A Richmond and was the Giants' second-best prospect according to Baseball America. Considering that the catcher position is one of the few areas of depth in the Giants' farm system, he is a manageable player for the team to let go.
For Schierholtz, who hinted at a trade request, he'll get his wish and have a change in scenery at Citizens Bank Park. Losing him for Pence is a big upgrade for the team and Gregor Blanco will now take on the role of fourth outfielder. Rosin, a 23-year-old at Class-A San Jose, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft and is not a high-level prospect.
Ultimately, the Giants needed a bat to contend with the Dodger and they did so for a reasonable price by adding Pence without giving up too much. By picking up a productive hitter, the Giants will now have more pop in their lineup and have more protection for hitters like Cabrera and Posey. The Giants will receive some money from Philadelphia as part of the deal and Pence will remain under team control next season, which may favor the team when it comes to Cabrera's contract extension.
With only hours before the trade deadline, the Giants are still looking for bullpen depth. While limited time may restrict them from finding the reliever they covet, the team has made the big splash they were looking for in Pence and hope to have added a consistent contributor in the lineup that will propel them to the playoffs.
Pence to Giants for Schierholtz, minor leaguers, CSN Bay Area
Giants make their move, acquire Hunter Pence from Phillies, Giants Extra, Bay Area News Group
Giants acquire Hunter Pence, MLBTradeRumors.com
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