MLB Trade Rumors: Could the SF Giants Trade for Hunter Pence or Shane Victorino?

Baily Deeter@@deetersportsSenior Writer IIIJuly 30, 2012

The San Francisco Giants have already made a major splash at the trade deadline. However, they could make another big one.

San Francisco's rival, the Philadelphia Phillies, are 16.5 games out of first place in the NL East, and they are looking to break up their core in order to acquire prospects. Philadelphia's outfield, consisting of Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre, could be broken up.

According to CSNPhilly.com, the Giants are among a few teams who have interest in Victorino. The Phillies' center fielder is hitting .261 with nine homers this year, although he is having a down year. Victorino is a career .276 hitter, and his career OBP is .342.

As for Pence, he is a career .289 hitter also undergoing a poor season. He has lots of power and is among the NL leaders with 17 home runs. However, Pence is hitting just .271 this year (although he does have a respectable .336 OBP).

AT&T Park isn't exactly what you would call a hitters park, but Pence would be able to hit some bombs into the bleachers in San Francisco. He has 131 career home runs, and this year he has homered in approximately 4.3 percent of his at-bats.

Victorino doesn't bring that kind of power, but he could definitely be a fit in San Francisco. He is a switch hitter who knows how to find the gaps, and in spacious AT&T Park he would get a lot of hits. From 2009-2012, Victorino has posted a .286 batting average with one homer and two RBI at the Giants' waterfront ballpark.

The price tag for Pence will likely be high, since Philadelphia had to part with two top prospects to bring Pence in from Houston last year. However, the Phillies would be willing to trade Victorino for just a middle reliever. They even offered a deal to the Reds, according to NBCSports.com's Aaron Gleeman.

Philadelphia's bullpen has a 4.57 ERA, which is 27th in the league. They were eying Reds' reliever Logan Ondrusek, and they offered to trade Victorino for Ondrusek. The Reds rejected the deal, although they are still interested in Victorino.

San Francisco's bullpen has a 3.45 ERA, which is 17th in the league. They want to upgrade their bullpen, and, according to Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com, SF could go after Mariners' reliever Brandon League. However, to get Victorino or Pence they may have to part with another reliever.

Jeremy Affeldt could be used as possible trade bait. If the Giants wanted to go for Pence, they could throw a prospect (such as catcher Tommy Joseph) in the deal. However, if they wanted the cheaper Victorino, they could offer just Affeldt, who has a 2.66 ERA this year.

No matter who they get, the Giants must land an outfielder. Nate Schierholtz, Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco aren't doing the trick, and it's clear that the Giants won't be able to win much with two of those three guys in their lineup. Victorino and Pence have power, and could provide a spark to a struggling offense that hasn't scored in almost 21 innings.

The Marco Scutaro trade was brilliant, and I think bringing in Scutaro instantly makes the Giants one of the teams to beat in the National League. However, to bring another World Series trophy to SF, the Giants need to upgrade their offense by bringing in one of these two stars.

If they don't bring in an outfielder, hopes of another championship will be bleak in San Francisco.

Update: According to KPIX-TV (h/t Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area), "the Giants have a 'deal in place' for Hunter Pence, pending ownership approval."

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