Time for San Francisco Giants to Cut Ties with Hunter Pence
By Jake Mastroianni
As much as it might pain some San Francisco Giants fans to hear, it’s time for the team to cut ties with Hunter Pence before the 2018 season.
Let me be the first to say that Pence was a great pick-up and was instrumental in two World Series runs. But that time has passed and I’d rather the Giants make a clean break now rather then hang on to him for what he’s done in the past.
Let’s be honest, Pence hasn’t been Hunter Pence for three years now. After playing 162 games in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014, while hitting 20-plus home runs in both seasons, he’s been a sub par player.
He’s hit .275, .289 and .260 respectively the past three years, while hitting no more than 13 home runs in any one season.
Pence is going to be 35 next year, and will be getting paid $18.5 million by the Giants.
Injuries have played a big part in his decline, but he’s also getting up there in age. Who knows what kind of player Pence is when healthy now. But I can say pretty confidently he’s no longer the guy we saw in 2012-14.
There are already reports of the Giants moving Pence to a part-time role.
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I’d much rather see the Giants move Pence now, and bring in someone to play right-field that is young and can hit 20-plus home runs a year. Someone like the Hunter Pence we brought in back in 2012.
I know we won’t get much back for Pence in a trade, but at the very least we could get a team to take on some of his contract so we can make a bigger move this offseason.
It just doesn’t make much sense to me to move an $18.5 million guy to a part-time role. If we aren’t going to use him as our every day right fielder, let’s move him and get someone that can play out there every day.
I love Hunter Pence as much as the next Giants fan. But if the Giants want to turn this thing around in 2018, difficult decisions have to be made, and getting rid of Pence should be one of them.
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That’s only if moving him allows the Giants to bring in someone younger with more power. If nothing changes then Pence is my every day right-fielder for the Giants.