MLB Trade Deadline: 7 Teams in Need of Outfield Help That Hunter Pence Fits with
Hunter Pence is one of the top players available at this trade deadline but it will cost teams a hefty price to get the right fielder's services. Pence has been having a career year hitting over .300 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI.
He is still young at 28 years of age and is just entering his prime. Any team who makes the move for Pence will be getting a quality player for a number of years, as he is under team control through 2013.
I have come up with seven teams who I think would be interested in trading for Pence and might not be scared away by the price tag.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have had issues at the right field spot all season with J.D. Drew. He is only hitting .219 on the season and was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday due to a shoulder injury.
Josh Reddick has filled in pretty well and is hitting an impressive .358 through 32 games, but the question is how long he can keep that production up and if is he the long-term answer. Last year he only hit .194 through 29 games.
Hunter Pence could be the long-term answer for the Red Sox in right field and they have the money to sign him to a long-term deal if they so choose.
New York Yankees
Left field has been primarily played by Brett Gardner and Andruw Jones this season and neither have been playing great.
While Gardner has been playing decently, hitting .285, he does only have 20 RBI and 51 runs scored in the high-powered Yankees offense.
Hunter Pence would be a clear upgrade over Gardner and Jones and strengthen an already potent offensive attack. There is also the motivation that they could potentially steal a player from the rival Red Sox, something I am sure they would love to do.
This trade would be harder to make for the Astros as they would be sending Pence to a divisional rival, the Reds. The trade would make more sense if the teams were not in the same division as the Reds have a hole in left field.
The Reds have Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs, who are both young and promising players, currently manning two of the outfield spots. Adding Hunter Pence to that mix could have them set in the outfield for years to come.
San Francisco Giants
The outfield is one of the weak areas for the defending champions and they can use some help. The Giants have been connected in trade rumors to Carlos Beltran but if they can't make it happen, Hunter Pence would not be a bad Plan B.
The Giants currently have Brandon Belt, a first baseman, and Cody Ross splitting time at left field.
Adding Pence could provide some protection to Pablo Sandoval in the lineup and make the offense more dangerous—as well as provide quality defense in the outfield.
There is no denying the Phillies have a great pitching staff but there has always been lingering questions whether the aging offense can stay healthy and productive.
Chase Utley has missed extended time this year—and the same for Jimmy Rollins last year. Raul Ibanez had a great 2009 season but has not been the same player since, and current right fielder Dominic Brown has been OK but not great.
The door seems to be closing quickly on the Phillies' championship runs after this season and they may feel the need to go all in this year. Hunter Pence would fit nicely and open the door a little bit with his youth. That's not to mention Ed Wade has always loved trading with the Phillies over his tenure with the Astros.
Like the Reds, this is a hard trade to pull off as the Pirates are division rivals, but Pittsburgh makes perfect trade partners. They have a deep farm system, a strong need for a corner outfielder and need to make the playoffs to bring back the fans.
The Pirates recently placed left field Alex Presley on the 15-day DL with a thumb injury and while he has played well, he will not bring the type of production that Hunter Pence will.
They wouldn't be trading for any aging veteran like Carlos Beltran, as Pence could be a big part of their team for years to come. He would fit in with the youth movement they have had the past few years.
The Braves currently are the leader in the National League Wild Card race but could use some help in the outfield.
A few years ago they made a trade for Nate McClouth from the Pirates, but he has not panned out. McClouth is currently only hitting .227 with four home runs.
By adding Hunter Pence, the Braves would be set at the corner outfield spots for years to come, teaming him up with Jason Heyward. Pence would only help their chances to hold on to the wild card spot as well as in the playoffs.
The Braves have one of the top rotations, but like the Phillies, could use help at the plate.