Hunter Pence and the Deal We Had to Make
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…..