San Francisco Giants: Making the case to sign Hunter Pence in free agency

The San Francisco Giants have reportedly shown interest in former outfielder Hunter Pence. We examine why a possible reunion makes all the sense in the world.

The rebuilding San Francisco Giants have remained silent during the 2020 offseason. While they were initially connected with star slugger Nick Castellanos, they have elected to build out their roster through minor moves.

After allowing star Madison Bumgarner to walk away as a free agent, the Giants have added fringe talent such as Kevin Gausman, Tyson Ross, Drew Smyly, Jerry Blevins, and Yolmer Sanchez to their organization.

The team also recently announced they have re-signed former hero Pablo Sandoval to a minor-league contract.

While the team fully has their sights set on preparing for the future, they still need to assemble a competent roster for the upcoming season. Considering their current construction, there is one available free agent that makes a great deal of sense — former Giants All-Star Hunter Pence.

Fondly enough, the franchise has reportedly shown interest in a reunion. Here is why this pairing would be an excellent idea.

The Bat

Make no mistake, this is not the same Hunter Pence that played a key role in the Giants World Series victories in 2012 and 2014. The four-time All-Star is now approaching his 37th birthday and is likely in the twilight of his career.

However, he still has a distinct value. Pence, who has an extensive injury history, appeared to be fully healthy at the start of the 2019 season. The result was immediately noticeable.

Pence hit a very respectable .297 batting average while contributing 17 home runs and making the American League All-Star team as a designated hitter. While injuries did plague the latter part of his year, he proved that he is still a very dangerous hitter when healthy.

The Depth

The Giants have added several aforementioned arms to bolster their pitching depth. However, the team is still in need of help in the outfield.

Aside from rising star Mike Yastrzemski, the roster is void of exciting players at the position. San Francisco will reportedly address this glaring issue before the start of the season.

While adding Pence to a National League lineup (without the benefit of the designated hitter spot) isn’t ideal, he has shown that he is still capable of playing the field. In fact, Pence recorded 23 games in the corner outfield spots before seeing his season come to an early end.

He would also come at a low price. Pence played last season on a one-year, $2 million contract with the Texas Rangers. There’s no reason to think his current price tag would be any higher.

His advanced age also makes him an ideal stopgap. He could provide immediate value, without tying up money or roster space in the long term.

The Connection

Imagine seeing a healthy Hunter Pence in a Giants’ jersey again. The team clearly needs to add a fourth outfielder. So why not select one with such a strong history and rapport with the organization?

San Francisco also finds themselves in an awkward stage in their rebuild. While the franchise’s championship pedigree has given fans confidence that the team will eventually reemerge as a contender, there is a concerning lack of interesting players and storylines on the current roster.

Adding a player like Pence would provide a familiar face for the crowds at Oracle Park to cheer.

Next: San Francisco Giants: Pablo Sandoval signing makes more sense than you think

The combination of his skill set, price, and connection with the city makes Hunter Pence the perfect candidate to fill the San Francisco Giants’ most pressing roster need.

What do you think about the idea of seeing Pence back in San Francisco?

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