UPDATE: Tuesday, July 31, 2:30 p.m. ET by Donald Wood
The deal is official; Hunter Pence is now with the San Francisco Giants.
#Phillies make trade official: Hunter Pence and cash to the San Francisco Giants for OF Nate Schierholtz, C Tommy Joseph and RHP Seth Rosin.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) July 31, 2012
This was expected all day, and while the return the Phillies got will hurt them now, it is ultimately the right decision in the long run.
As much as this is the correct move for the future of the organization, the fans who expected a World Series-contending team now have to deal with a team selling its assets at the trade deadline. Not a good feeling.
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UPDATE: Tuesday, July 31, 11:50 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
According to several reports, the reported trade sending Hunter Pence from Philadelphia to San Francisco is almost complete.
Andrew Baggarly, Giants beat reporter for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, reports that the deal will soon be done:
Giants expect to announce Pence deal shortly. Physical passed.— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) July 31, 2012
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports on what the Phillies may be getting in return for Pence:
hear pence will be 3 for 1. fine young catcher tommy joseph & OF nate schierholtz r in deal. a pitcher may go to philly 2— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2012
While the Phillies will be getting some very talented prospects, the fact that they are sellers with the salary they field every season is an absolute shame. Philadelphia has fallen so far.
For the Giants, this is the consistent bat in the lineup that can be a serious difference-maker when the playoffs come around. Let’s just hope his numbers translate from hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park to pitcher-friendly AT&T Park.
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ESPN Senior Baseball Analyst Jim Bowden clears up exactly what the teams are waiting on now and what deal is currently in place.
An agreement on players have been reached between Phillies & Giants on Pence pending physicals/medicals.....just to be clear— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 31, 2012
While the deal has become imminent, San Francisco has remained steadfast in its stance that no deal is in place and that the team is exploring all options, according to Andrew Baggarly, Giants beat reporter for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
From Giants VP Bobby Evans on reports Pence deal is done: "Not accurate. No deal. Working through many options."— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) July 31, 2012
Philadelphia was swept by the division rival Atlanta Braves in their weekend series, and it has become abundantly clear that it will be a seller at the Tuesday trade deadline.
With one of the biggest rumored pieces in Pence now likely heading to San Francisco, the National League West just got a whole lot more interesting.
What It Means
The San Francisco Giants know they have the pitching to make a deep run anytime they make the playoffs. What they needed was a consistent bat toward the top of the lineup—and that’s exactly what they got with Pence.
The lanky star is batting a healthy .271 on the season with 17 home runs and 59 RBI, and he can bring enough consistency in the lineup to protect the rest of the team. Pence can hit anywhere from one to eight in the batting order.
For the Phillies, it is the ultimate sign of surrender on the 2012 season. A team with the payroll of Philadelphia should be ashamed, and this is one of the most devastating blows in at least the last 10 seasons.
How many prospects and how talented they will be has yet to be determined, but Pence is no slouch, so you can expect a nice return for the Phillies. As the oldest team in MLB, Philadelphia’s time to make moves is upon it.
Tuesday’s trade deadline will see plenty of deals across the league, but the Phillies organization appears to have the pieces that many teams want. Watch out for Philadelphia’s fire sale.
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