The San Francisco Giants have shockingly brought back fan favorite Hunter Pence. This move will energize the clubhouse and delight most of the fanbase.
With the MLB offseason winding to a close, Pence was one of the most notable names still looking for a new home on the free-agent market.
Now one of the most beloved Giants in recent memory is coming back home:
News of a potential Pence return started off strangely with a rumor from Chris Calcaterra of NBC Sports.
“Most journalists will never tell you their sources, but I’ll let you in on mine: some random guy in the airport in San Diego, where a few minutes ago he overheard Pence, who was getting ready to board a flight to San Francisco, talking about all of this quite loudly on his cell phone.”
It turned out to be true and Pence is back on a one-year, $3 million deal, with another $2.5 million available in incentives.
While some may be against the return of aging veterans like Pence and Sandoval, they will undoubtedly add some entertainment value to the 2020 team.
While the team may not be a contender, I would rather see them not win with some old friends than with some new guys who may not even factor into the club’s long-term plans.
Perhaps this move shows some self-awareness from Zaidi and Kapler. They know the past few months have been rocky for them, so why not extend an olive branch to a fanbase that seems to be resistant to them?
Others have pointed out the fact that Kapler loves a positive and energetic clubhouse, and the first two words you think of with Hunter Pence are positive and energetic. In that sense, this move is a bit less surprising.
It’s also not as if Pence is completely washed up.
He showed us all what he can do with a revamped swing last year, hitting .297/.358/.552 with 17 doubles and 18 home runs to earn his first All-Star nod since 2014.
The 36-year-old was particularly effective against left-handed pitching, hitting .327/.378/.636 with eight home runs in 119 plate appearances.
That could make him the ideal platoon candidate in left field with left-handed hitting Alex Dickerson.
For many Giants faithful, myself included, Pence is still a fan favorite.
This decisions shows how much love Pence also has for the city of San Francisco. He reportedly had offers from the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros, but he obviously felt coming back into the loving arms of the Giants organization was a plus.
So welcome back, Hunter Pence. We missed you pal.