Giants add Pence, send three to Phillies
Schierholtz, two Minor Leaguers dealt to Philadelphia for two-time All-Star outfielder
SAN FRANCISCO -- Obtaining the potential offensive force they desperately sought, the Giants acquired right fielder Hunter Pence and cash from the Philadelphia Phillies hours before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. They sent three players -- right fielder Nate Schierholtz, catching prospect Tommy Joseph and Minor League right-hander Seth Rosin -- to Philly.The Giants not only were swept by the division rivals Dodgers this past week, they watched as the Dodgers picked up impact hitters in Hanley Ramirez last week and Pence's former Phillies teammate outfielder Shane Victorino on Tuesday. The Giants needed Tuesday's 4-1 win against the Mets and the Dodgers' 8-2 loss to the D-backs to regain sole possession of first place in the National League West. So the Giants knew they'd have to keep pace with the Dodgers' roster reconstruction. "The three games against the Dodgers weren't pretty. We kind of took that personally," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. "We were hoping we could use something from the outside like they did. And now, after going through the five-game losing streak and seeing we need a lift and need to hang in there until we get everybody back, I'm glad we were able to make a move.
"In some ways, it is a reaction to not only playing them and getting swept, but also knowing to a point they were going to be extremely active. You didn't want them to be able to outdistance you, based on personnel moves that you didn't pursue."Sabean added that the daily sellouts at AT&T Park force management to "answer to a higher calling." Said Sabean: "These people have really supported this ballclub, and there are high expectations." Pence, 29, hit .271 with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs in 101 games this year with Philadelphia. His homer total considerably exceeds that of any Giant -- Buster Posey has a club-high 13 -- and his RBI total fits between Posey's 61 and Melky Cabrera's 52. "It's going to be a fun ride being a part of a team on top of the division," Pence said. "In this [NL] West division, it looks like it's going to be a pretty tight race."
The Giants need Pence, a right-handed batter with a noticeably effervescent attitude, to help improve a struggling offense that has offset the team's typically solid pitching. San Francisco scored three runs or fewer in 12 of its previous 18 home games entering Tuesday, recently endured a stretch of 22 consecutive scoreless innings and was batting .231 overall with runners in scoring position, third worst in the Major Leagues. Pence owns a .291 lifetime batting average with runners in scoring position."I'm definitely excited," Posey said of Pence's acquisition. "He's a dynamic player who will help us, not only with his offensive production, but the energy that he brings."
|"He's a dynamic player who will help us, not only with his offensive production, but the energy that he brings."|
|-- Buster Posey|
"It's a great place to play," Pence said. "It's pretty intense out there and it's a beautiful stadium. Obviously, the team is in the race right now, what more can you ask for?"
Pence sent the following Twitter message: "Thank you Philadelphia for all your support and passion. Excited to see what awaits me in San Francisco!"Manager Bruce Bochy said that Pence will bat fifth until Pablo Sandoval's activated from the disabled list. "The fans are going to love him," Bochy said. "He's all-out, all the time." As always, economics were a factor. Pence, a two-time All-Star who was dealt from Houston to Philadelphia before last year's Deadline, earns $10.4 million this season and will be eligible for salary arbitration next year. That will guarantee Pence a huge pay hike. But Sabean indicated that the Giants can absorb it, as well as other likely salary increases. This includes the raise that the .353-hitting Cabrera will command as a potential free agent coming off an All-Star season.
|"The fans are going to love him. He's all-out, all the time."|
|-- Bruce Bochy|
"We have a luxury that a lot of organizations don't," Sabean said.Joseph amassed 16 homers and 68 RBIs while batting .236 with lower-Class A Augusta in 2010, and followed that by hitting .270 with 22 homers and 95 RBIs last year with San Jose. This year at Double-A Richmond, Joseph endured concussion symptoms after being hit by a batter's backswing and was sidelined for almost two weeks before returning to the Flying Squirrels' lineup in late May. He hit .260 with eight homers and 38 RBIs in 80 games for the Flying Squirrels and excelled in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game earlier this month. He lined a tiebreaking RBI double and drew a walk in two plate appearances for the U.S. squad, besides demonstrating his improved defensive prowess by throwing out a baserunner who tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt. Rosin, a non-roster invitee to Spring Training this year, went 2-1 with a 4.31 ERA and 10 saves in 34 games, including five starts, for San Jose this season. The 23-year-old was San Francisco's fourth-round pick in the 2010 Draft.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.