1. RF Hunter Pence
Although a close race, our beloved Hunter Pence claims the No. 1 spot for best mid-season trade. Why? Well, he is the only guy on this list with two World Series rings (except for Javier Lopez who has four). Hours before the 2012 MLB trade deadline, Pence was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Giants in return for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, Double-A catcher Tommy Joseph and single-A pitcher Seth Rosin.
There are plenty of reasons why he tops the list:
1. Nobody can forget his pep talk during in Games 3, 4, and 5 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds, and the Giants won three games in a row after being down 0-2 in the series to move on to the NLCS.
2. He has fun with the crowd, teammates, and coaches. Only Pence can ride around on a motor scooter, photobomb live interviews, and get away with that. And what about the “Hunter Pence signs” that took the country by storm and were displayed at every Giants game, home or away. It is evident that Pence is playing for the love of the game, not just the money.
3. You never know what you’re going to get with Pence. Although I can’t provide any hard evidence, Pence is the only guy I’ve seen hit the ball three times on one swing, break his bat, and get a hit in the process.
Ultimately, Pence is a treasure not just among Giant fans, but among all of Major League Baseball. Long live the Hunter Pence era.