Hunter Pence of the Philadelphia Phillies hits during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
According to multiple sources, the San Francisco Giants have traded for Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence. Jon Heyman had the first scoop today, but KPIX San Francisco had the particulars of the deal on Sunday night. Catching prospect Tommy Joseph is reportedly going to Philadelphia in the deal.
Earlier this season, the Giants' outfield was a real strength, with All-Star Melky Cabrera joined by center fielder Angel Pagan and right fielders Gregor Blanco and Nate Schierholtz. But Pagan and Blanco have both fallen off in recent weeks, and Blanco and Schierholtz are both left-handed hitters. Pence, who bats right-handed, will give the Giants some added punch, especially against left-handed pitchers.
Not a lot of punch, though; chalk it up to small sample size if you like, but Pence's 109 OPS+ this season is little better than those of the Giants whose playing time he'll be taking. Last year, the Giants traded for Carlos Beltran, who was having a fantastic season; Hunter Pence is not Carlos Beltrán.
But with the Giants and Dodgers in a virtual tie atop the National League West standings, and with the Dodgers making a couple of moves, the Giants presumably felt compelled to do something. And now they have.