Entering his final season under contract and no longer a candidate for arbitration, Hunter Pence will open the 2014 season as a free agent assuming no deal between he and the Giants is agreed upon. However, Pence would prefer to avoid the whole free agent frenzy and sign a long term deal with the Giants, this according to Jim Bowden:
Hunter Pence just told me his preference is to sign a long term contract with Giants rather over testing free agency
Understandably so given the Giants would pay a pretty fair number and appear to have their roster (for the most part) set up well for the future. For the Giants, the decision isn’t so easy. Pence has struggled the past year – both in San Francisco and Philadelphia, though far worse by the Bay and will command a pretty penny in the offseason.
The simple cure will be for Pence to put up the numbers he’s historically done. Do that and the Giants welcome you back with open arms. Don’t and well, it’s going to be long Summer for Hunter.
Personally, I’m expecting a rebound season for Hunter – then again, after the final few months of 2012, it’s hard not to improve off of that debacle.