SF Giants Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Hunter Pence's Availability and More

Tim KeeneyContributor IJuly 30, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 28:  Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after striking out to end the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park on July 28, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants will be sellers at the fast-approaching MLB trade deadline, but not in the typical sense. 

Bruce Bochy's squad has endured a nightmarish season. The club has been steady at AT&T Park, but its inability to win road games has it at 46-58—last in the NL West and 10 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers

In that sense, there's no reason for the Giants to hinder any part of their future and blindly trick themselves into being buyers. That's how they lost Zack Wheeler.

So, sellers it is. 

That's a claim that has been backed up recently with names such as Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez being thrown around on the trading block.

Still, this is a team that is less than a year removed from a World Series title, so it's not exactly time to attach a piece of dynamite to the roster either.

As the Giants sit awkwardly in the middle, let's take a look at the most recent chatter surrounding the team's potential deadline deals. 


Hunting For Hunter

Unsurprisingly, Hunter Pence is the main attraction for teams looking to siphon from San Francisco's roster.

In 104 games this season, Captain Underpants is hitting .277/.320/.457 with 14 homers and 14 stolen bases. After a scorching start to the season, the summer heat has slowed his production down considerably, but he's still a rock-solid all-around contributor who was a crucial vocal leader during San Fran's World Series run last fall. 

A contender looking for a half-season rental (Pence is a free agent at year's end) couldn't do much better. 

According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds have joined the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates in the race for Pence. 

However, as the New York Post's Joel Sherman notes, the Giants would like to retain the talented outfielder, or at the very least give him a tender offer, so the price tag is likely to be high. 

General manager Bobby Evans, via Sherman, made it pretty simple, stating that "you have to be realistic that if you trade a guy, you are not going to be able to re-sign him. That is what history shows."

If the Giants get blown away with an offer for Pence, expect them to bite. But other than that, a deal doesn't seem likely. He is clearly part of their 2014 plans. 


Big-Time Timmy Jim Commands Big-Time Price

Much like with Pence, the Giants, according to Sherman, are planning on throwing Tim Lincecum a tender offer with the intention of re-signing him. That way, the team at the very least assures itself a first- or second-round pick as compensation. 

And with Lincecum having a far worse season—4.61 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 8.5 hits allowed per nine innings—than Pence, interest in him is likely to be lower. 

Combine the high price tag with a second straight inconsistent season, and odds of the 29-year-old being shipped are extremely minimal.

CBS' Danny Knobler confirmed as much:


Javier Lopez Easiest to Move

Javier Lopez has been solid once again this season, but as a middle reliever, he is far more expendable than the previous two. 

Sherman confirms that belief, saying that "the Giants will definitely move" him, and that the Cleveland Indians have shown interest. 

However, ESPN's Buster Olney notes that a deal might not be so easy:

In 25.1 innings this year, Lopez has a 1.42 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and has struck out 9.6 batters per nine innings. Contending teams are always in need of lefty specialists out of the bullpen, and the 35-year-old will bring a decent return for a soon-to-be free agent. 

The Giants would be wise not to be too stingy in this case.