It's been an inauspicious beginning to the Hunter Pence era in San Francisco.
Since being acquired from the Phillies at the trade deadline, he's hit just .214/.266/.316. He entered the season as a lifetime .292/.343/.485 hitter, though that was down to .271/.336/.447 with the Phillies this year.
His struggles with the Giants have been well-documented. Always an aggressive hitter, Pence has morphed into a cross between two former hackers who also both played for the Giants and Phillies: Aaron Rowand and Pedro Feliz.
Instead of getting Hunter Pence, so far the Giants have gotten Aaron Feliz, an imaginary right fielder who swings at everything, doesn't walk and doesn't hit for power.
Alas, when any player slumps, no matter how talented, he doesn't look very good.
Angel Pagan was atrocious in July, hitting just .210/.244/.309. He's now hitting a respectable .290/.340/.429 on the season.
Brandon Belt was even worse than Pagan in July, hitting just .186/.266/.214. He's now hitting a respectable .265/.361/.397 for the season.
Buster Posey didn't look very good in May when he hit just .253/.311/.368. He's now an MVP candidate with a .328/.404/.535 batting line.
When sabermetric analysts complain about the injustice of using small sample sizes to evaluate performance, it's easy to ignore them, because baseball is nothing more than an endless series of small sample sizes put together to form the whole of the season. When a player looks awful for a month, it has to mean something!
Except, it's a long season, and it doesn't usually mean anything. Maybe Pence is one of those players that will just fall apart as he approaches the age of 30. More likely, he'll stop swinging at everything and hit closer to his career batting line for the next few seasons.
With that in mind, here are a few ways signing Hunter Pence long term would impact the offseason.