THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Hunter Pence and the Deal We Had to Make

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 29, 2013

First of all, the Giants did NOT overpay to keep Hunter Pence. He would have gotten 5 years/90 million from somebody. It’s possible he would have gotten more like a “J-Werth” contract of 7 years/120mil+. And an Ethier or Upton deal in the ballpark of 75-85 million was virtually guaranteed.

Buster Olney talked to one baseball exec who summed it up this way:


General Managers don’t just look at the basic stats anymore, those days are long gone. And anyway you cut it, Hunter Pence is one of the top outfielders in the National League. Add in his durability, attitude, clubhouse presence and his motorized scootering abilities and you are talking about a player that any team in the league would want starting in their outfield. And the fact that he’s put up elite outfield numbers at AT&T Park, something a guy like Aaron Rowand never had done by the way, is another line on his resume that wouldn’t get ignored. And he was going to get paid handsomely for his resume.

Here’s where Pence ranks overall in the NL outfielder list for WAR:


Here’s where he ranks for offense/WAR (again, NL outfielders only):


I’m not a big WAR guy because it factors way too much defense and base running into the number and I could care less about defense and base running from a fantasy baseball perspective–as long as they are being benched BECAUSE of their defense and base running, I ignore that metric. But WAR is a good tool to evaluate a player’s overall worth to the team. By the way, that’s why we won’t be doing any “Woo Hoo” for signing Shin-Soo Choo this off season. Shin-Soo’s agent jizzed in his pants when he saw what Pence got, he will get his client at least that and possibly more…….

As the year went on, I came around on signing Pence mostly because he ended up having a very good year, there is obviously nobody out there better who we can just plug into right field and I don’t feel like we overpaid for him. Those are the main reasons I am behind this signing.

If it doesn’t work out, it will be over soon enough. Although that’s what Angels fans are telling themselves about Josh Hamilton who’s deal is backloaded to pay him $32 million in each of the last 2 years of his 5 year deal. In those same 2 years (’16 and ’17) the Angels will also be paying Pujols $25 and $26 million and that deal runs through 2021 where Albert will get paid $30 million to sit on their bench……

So there are worse contracts out there for other fans in other cities to trip on. I’m not trippin’ on Pence’s deal. I’m glad it’s done and happy he’ll be a Giant for the next 5 years…..


42 Responses

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  1. blade3colorado said, on September 29, 2013 at 8:19 am

    On reflection, this contract is satisfactory, but not for many of the reasons you cite Flav. Nevertheless, good thread. That being said, no way, no how, Pence was going to get a Werth type deal in my opinion. We’ll just have to disagree on that one. The Giants would have been in a bind if they hadn’t signed Pence for this type of coin. I understand that. They definitely overpaid, but that is the reality in this market. The first 3 years, Pence will probably perform satisfactorily to this contract . . . All bets are off though in the 4th anf 5th year of this no trade clause, guaranteed contract.

    However, this is what I love about Pence (and I have commented on this before) – NO ONE IN THE MLB WORKS HARDER THEN PENCE, NOR GIVES 100% LIKE HE DOES EVERY MINUTE HE IS ON THE FIELD. I haven’t seen someone run out routine grounders and popups since the Pete Rose era (fortunately, Pence doesn’t gamble).

    So that’s what I like about this trade. However, what will make this trade even better, is if Sabes, et. al., can sign Abreu from Cuba. This has to be accomplished no matter the price (Note: Whatever they pay will be much cheaper than the Free agents that have comparable skills in the MLB). If they do sign Abreu, this is what I predict will happen:

    1. Belt goes to left field. No ifs, ands, or buts about it if Abreu is signed.
    2. Lincecum is signed to a long term deal. I don’t think there is any way he signs a qualifying offer due to the Giants unfortunate position of having little or no options elsewhere. Garza might be a replacement (I like his competitiveness) only because he is returning to the NL, where he is a much better player. See #5. – this might happen as well. All depends on the Lincecum negotiations. Again, Giants have to sign Timmy to a contract or all other options will probably suck in my opinion.
    3. Another possibility is Romo being packaged with Pablo in a trade for a pitcher. Guess who goes to 3rd? Yep, Posey. They will experiment with him at 3rd and see if Hector can take over as catcher. If that doesn’t work out, Arias will be the 3rd baseman.
    4. Sabean also called left-handed starter Edwin Escobar, who excelled in Class A and Double-A this year, as the “next guy on the radar” who will get a long look in spring training and could be in the majors in 2014. This can also be an alternative if a trade or free agent pitcher signing doesn’t happen.
    5. Giants go after Japanese pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and/or Kenta Maeda, which I find intriguing as well.
    6. Hembree is given a shot at closing, along with Casilla and Lopez, should Romo be dealt.
    7. I like Scutaro’s hitting and I am hoping that he was so banged up (back and finger), that he will improve his fielding in 2014. Regardless, we have little or no options there.
    8. Brandon Crawford better work his ass off in the winter or he will find himself in a platoon. We can’t have automatic outs every time a left hander goes against us.
    9. I like Perez and I see him being a lock for one of the utility outfielder positions. Blanco will remain as well. If shit goes to hell in a hand basket insofar as other options, this may be your platoon in left field. I just hope I am not praying for Torres as an option before the All Star break next season. 🙂

  2. Macdog said, on September 29, 2013 at 8:36 am

    It was either re-sign Pence or have two glaring holes in the outfield. There really was no choice for the Giants. The good part is there’s a mutual admiration here: Pence very much wanted to stay and the Giants wanted to bring him back. He does drive me nuts with his whack-a-pitch approach that makes Pablo look like a more patient batter in comparison. But as Blade said, I absolutely love the way Pence goes all out every inning of every game. Now there’s one less thing to worry about this off-season.

    • blade3colorado said, on September 29, 2013 at 8:45 am

      Mac, what is your opinion abut Lincecum? Is Lincecum in the driver’s seat, whereby the GMen have to offer a long term deal or do you think the $14 million qualifying offer will cut mustard with Timmy?

      • Macdog said, on September 29, 2013 at 9:18 am

        Looks like he’s going to play the market, so doubtful the QO will be enough. As for who’s interested in Timmy and whether he follows the money or takes less to play in a more favorable setting . . . man, who knows?

  3. Alleykat said, on September 29, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Ive always been behind Hunter from the beginning.Starting his career with the pathetic Astros,even though he is a Texas guy could have worn on him hard.But it never did,he “Always” comes to play.Same when he played for Philly,which i felt the org and fans were tough on him , especially when they didnt have Howard and Utley in the LU,which made it more difficult on one player to carry the load.

    Even with the Giants,and remember only half the year after the trade and needing to adjust to a new team and a crazy RF with all the quirky angles and triples alley gap,he did a fantastic job figuring out the park.And he is a “Motivator” that his teammates do look up to and you can’t put a price on that.
    Im happy they got this deal done.Did they overpay?Maybe,toward the end of it,but they have to have him,IMO,the OF pipeline is broken right now,though i would like to see Sabes still go after a LF and a SP so trades maybe coming still.

  4. Flavor said, on September 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Blade– “no way no how?”
    He got Werth money, they both make 18 mil a year.
    And with the shortage of quality power hitting outfielders on the open market I could have EASILY seen a team go to 6/7 years if competition really heated up

    • blade3colorado said, on September 29, 2013 at 10:11 am

      In my opinion, yes. In fact, read the Chronicle article . . . Pence’s agent said they were going to be looking for a 6 year deal and the Giants were initially offering a 4 year deal. They split the difference and did 5. Anyway, we will have to disagree on the 7 year/$120 million Werth money you think he would have gotten.

      • Flavor said, on September 29, 2013 at 10:29 am

        “Could” have gotten, not “was going to get.”

  5. Bozo said, on September 29, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Today belongs to a coach,
    Game 162 and I just want to wish Flan a happy birthday. Send em home Tim.

  6. twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 10:05 am

    So, how do our other guys rate in offensive ‘war’ compared to the other nl players at their postion? i’ll note that hunter’s number is among ‘qualified’ ofers only, so that rules out a lot of guys who played enough to be worthy of noting. so i wanted to look at our postion players in that light, i’ll note their rank compared to players at their position with a minimum of 400 pa.

    posey-2nd of 11
    belt- 4th of 11
    scutaro-5th of 11
    sandoval-7th of 14
    crawford-6th of 12
    blanco- 28th of 36
    pence-5th of 36

    notes- crawford’s offensive war was a minus 5.7, there were a lot of very bad hitting shortstops. posey and molina were 1/2- no other nl catcher was close. as far the giants, among players who played a significant amount of time ( no call-ups and such, here are the offensive war numbers:

    1. pence 30.9
    2. belt 23.4
    3. posey 17.9
    4. scutaro 7.7
    5. pagan 6.9
    6. sandoval 6.1
    (now it gets ugly) 0.5
    8. abreu 0.3
    9. pill minus 1.3
    10. hector minus 2.9
    11. arias minus 5.1
    12. torres minus 5.3
    13.crawford minus 5.7
    14. quiroz minus 7.1

  7. twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 10:30 am

    1. Gregor Blanco (L) CF

    2. Tony Abreu (S) 2B

    3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B

    4. Buster Posey (R) C

    5. Hunter Pence (R) RF

    6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B

    7. Brandon Crawford (L) SS

    8. Juan Perez (R) LF

    9. Guillermo Moscoso (R) P

    surprised there’s no pagan for the finale.

  8. James said, on September 29, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I don’t get the huge excitement over Adam Jones. Based on the stats, it’s certainly not a given the team would score more runs if he were in the line up instead of Belt. The dude has nearly 700 PAs and he plays in a live yard on a high scoring team. He’s had *40* more runners on base than the league avg. for a player with that many PAs and he’s been lucky to hit well with RISP this year.

    Presumably one big thing Jones brings is the right handed power (although, again he’s had a ton of ABs, with his 25 walks). If Jones had walked 40 more times and hit 10 fewer HRs this year, his team would not have suffered one bit. If you’re skeptical about that, consider that those 10 HRs represent about 15 runs scored. 40 walks would easily contribute around the same number of runs to a team.

    I do get that he’s a good player . . . the contract, his age, the fact that Jones would not be displaced by Posey’s “resting.” But I don’t see how he strengthens the team that much, if we were to give up Romo and Belt for him without other compensatory moves such as those TF previously suggested.

  9. sportdude said, on September 29, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Amazing thing about the numbers this year is seeing Belt above Posey. A lot. Keep him at 1st. Why on earth would you mess with a young player who has improved so much…

    • blade3colorado said, on September 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

      From all reports, the Giants are going to make a credible move to sign the Cuban 1st baseman Abreu. He is barely an adequate 1st baseman Sportdude . . . Put him out in the outfield that would be a disaster. Where would you put him? This is where AL teams having a DH might have an advantage of signing this kid over NL teams.

    • twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      just using the jones trade as an example- adam has a higher ceiling here than belt does, and belt has a much higher ceiling in baltimore than he does here. i can discuss ‘why romo, too?” at another time. but with pence signing, it changes things. now i’ve heard more talk of belt to left and acquiring a first baseman.

      • Flavor said, on September 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

        Romo is included, I presume, in this mythical trade because he has value and there is no fucking way in hell that Baltimore does a straight up jones for Belt. But they also already have a closer who has piled up the saves the last couple of years. Personally, I think Romo is better and I’m not sure what Johnson’s contract status is.
        Whatever, we aren’t getting Jones, it’s just good conversation

      • twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        well, it always was conjecture about what a major overhaul might look like. if i nailed all the moves i listed, baer would be on the phone to me asking what i’d take to replace sabes.
        as to the baltimore closer , johnson has 49 saves, 9 bs, 8 losses.
        you’re right- just good conversation.

  10. twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    craig, what about a thread on the contest, deadline to join could be extended from what i earlier posted- how about noon pacific tomorrow with wild card picks emailed to you by 8:00 p.m. tomorrow. i want everyone to be in- and although i would like everyone to compete for the prize, it’s not a requirement, the prize will go the highest total among those in for the prize. my idea for the thread is that you would repost the rules and details, i’ll add the current contestants and prize details. what say you? i’ll email this to you if you’re off the blog for awhile.

    • Rooster said, on September 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      If Texas beats the Angels (currentlt ties 2-2 in the 6th), they would have to play a tiebreaker game with Tampa to decide who plays the Indians in the WC.

      • Rooster said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        Texas goes up 3-2, bottom 6

      • twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm

        we’ll see how that goes. it would be good idea for contestants to have their picks ready for sending to craig. this doesn’t change the deadline for entering the contest.

  11. Bozo said, on September 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Good to see Bryan Stow at the game.

  12. SanDawg said, on September 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I’ll take this opportunity to reiterate my stance that Nick Hundley has a great swing for ATT.

  13. twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    henderson alvarez threw a no-hitter against detroit that ended with a walk-off wild pitch in the ninth against tiger reliever putkonen who was called ‘up’ from his tomb in egypt..

  14. blade3colorado said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Just walked in and thought the Gmen were doing well . . . Then grand salami. Pffffftttt!

  15. Macdog said, on September 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Money Pence!

  16. James said, on September 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Well, that shoulda happened the other night while I was there, but still very nice to see.

  17. sportdude said, on September 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Since we were looking at WAR..

    Belt 4.1 at ATT 25yo 500k in 14 the arbitration
    Jones 4.3 in Balt 28yo 13 mil salary in 2014 13M in 2015 16M in 2016

  18. sportdude said, on September 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    with Park difference they don’t look that different. Yes Jones is better but not by much, and salariy factor makes it big…

    • twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      again, the propostion for the trade was made before pence signed .in addition, jones’ salary for 2014 would be just a net 7 million gain- the trade was belt and romo. jones wouldn’t have replaced belt, he would have replaced pence and kendrys morales would have replaced belt. and the payroll savings would enable more moves. but whatever. i think my make over would have produced a better *overall* team. i respect your opinion, however.

      • James said, on September 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        And to be clear, my skepticism is purely about the relative value Jones would bring over Belt independent of other factors. Basically, it’s zero.

  19. Bozo said, on September 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Gotta love it. The year wasn’t what we thought but happy 162 all..

  20. SanDawg said, on September 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    3rd place!

  21. blade3colorado said, on September 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    It looks much better than 4th. Now the long wait for spring training. Ugh . . . 😦

  22. twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    it would take a person with a harder heart than mine to not wish the very best for barry zito . glad to see he got a nice send off…

    • SanDawg said, on September 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      I agree that was very cool. They aired his speech to the crowd after the game on the radio broadcast and I thought he handled it real well. It was a nice comeback win and Pence got his 99th RBI on the game winner. I I guess we’re on hold for getting our picks in until this one game playoff to get into THE one game playoff plays out?

      • twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        the al wild card is wednesday so your nl pick should be sent to craig by 8:00 pm tomorow and the al pick by 8:00 pm tuesday.

  23. Bozo said, on September 29, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    139 days to pitchers & catchers!

  24. blade3colorado said, on September 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I got a chuckle out of ESPN’s Dave Schoenfield’s worst decisions of 2013 . . .

  25. Flavor said, on September 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Hey guys– I have concluded a whirlwind afternoon that literally came down to a run here, an rbi there, etc and my fantasy pay leagues are in the books. It was a very good year for me at the nfbc, coulda been even better if Jansen had picked up the win in the Dodger game. Bases loaded with one out and those fucking dipshits strike out back to back to finish the game. Ha. Oh well, gives me another reason to hate them.
    I can now re-focus on other things.
    I am going to fire up a Sunday pm thread about the contest. Gimmie a few minutes…….

  26. twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    as most of the ‘breaking bad’ nuts know- the final episode is tonight at 9:00 pm. i’m going to see if i can put the whole series on skydrive ( i’ve recorded it all except for two episodes from early in the series) . anyone who has windows media center should be able to watch, just download the episodes you want to see. i’m sure that other media players will also play them.that should be on skydrive by tomorrow. if you want to watch what you’ve missed just email me for the link.

  27. twinfan1 said, on September 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    the contest thread is up.

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