MLB Trade Rumors: SF Giants Should Put All Their Eggs in the Hunter Pence Basket

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIIJuly 15, 2011

HOUSTON - AUGUST 30:  Hunter Pence #9 of the Houston Astros smiles as he walks back to the dugout after striking out swinging against the St. Louis Cardinals at Minute Maid Park on August 30, 2010 in Houston, Texas. The Astros beat the Cardinals 3-0.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching us, it seems evident that the San Francisco Giants are going to make a move. 

The name that has been circulating around the ballclub has consistently been New York Mets' outfielder Carlos Beltran, and rightfully so. Beltran has been extremely consistent for the Mets this season, posting 15 HR to go along with a .285 BA and 58 RBI. 

Beltran is in the last year of his monster $119 million deal, which means he may not return to the bay area next year if he were to be dealt. The Giants may not want him back anyway, due to the fact that Beltran turns 35 next season. 

Although it seems unlikely, a trade for Houston's Hunter Pence could benefit the Giants in both the long and short term. Pence will be locked up for two more arbitration years in 2012 and 2013 before he becomes a free agent in 2014.

If the Giants were to acquire him, they would have him on the roster for at least two-and-a-half seasons, which would add value to anything the Astros would receive in return. Pence was an All-Star this season and will look to be there for years to come. 

The bundle that Houston would want back for their "Lone Star" would be extremely hefty for any team, which makes the chance of him being moved very slim. 

The price tag for Pence would include a quality major league starter along with an A-list prospect, which is something the Giants may be able to do. With a solid top end of the rotation, lead by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, a deal involving Madison Bumgarner could be in the works.

Bumgarner has a ton of talent, but may not be tradeable at this point from the Giants' perspective. The 21-year-old pitcher shined in the World Series last year, and has posted a 3.74 ERA so far this season. 

Bumgarner is the exact piece that Houston needs, due to the fact of how strong the lineups are in the NL Central division. If the Giants gave up two more solid prospects, I could see this deal happening, but either team may feel their piece may be to good to give up.

Either way, I think both teams would benefit from a deal.

If the Giants want a chance at a second straight world championship, a deal like this may be the propeller. This deal is just pure speculation, but expect the Giants to make a move for an outfielder before the deadline hits on July 31st.