Blog Entry

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

Posted on: July 18, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 2:39 pm
 
By Matt Snyder

As the Ubaldo Jimenez speculation fire continues to burn, we now have our next hot trade rumor: The Pirates have scouted Hunter Pence (PittsburghLive.com). Pence is hitting .321 with 11 homers, 61 RBI and an .852 OPS. He also has a great throwing arm, as we saw in the All-Star Game.

Now, just as with the Jimenez talk, let's not get carried away here. Scouting a player doesn't mean the teams have exchanged names or will ever talk about a trade. It's just the first of many steps. Still, this could make sense for both teams.

The best argument for the Astros to keep Pence is that they need to rebuild around someone and he's their obvious best player. You can say he's young, but he's 28. The Astros aren't anywhere near contention, so he could be 31 (or older) before they're ready to make a run at the NL Central again. Why not deal him and get a big prospect package back? I feel like that would make more sense, because the likes of Carlos Lee and Brett Myers aren't landing much in return at this point. Pence and Wandy Rodriguez are the ones who need to be moved in an effort to start the rebuilding process.

As for the Pirates, first of all, it's pretty cool to see them as buyers. Variety can be good and the Pirates fans have suffered for quite a while. But let's talk baseball.

There are more pressing needs than right field for the Pirates. Shortstop and third base are weak -- unless Pedro Alvarez all of a sudden is promoted and explodes -- and Lyle Overbay could be upgraded at first. A catcher upgrade would help, though there aren't really many, if any, good ones available. Some extra help in middle relief couldn't hurt either. But if the Pirates could get a star like Pence, it would enable them to move Garrett Jones to first and it does strengthen the lineup as a whole in a pretty big way. Plus, Pence still has a decent chunk of his prime left and the Pirates' cornerstones would be a duo of outfield stars with Pence and Andrew McCutchen.

So, yes, this feels like a move that could benefit both teams, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen or is in the works. Just a rumor, for now.

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Comments

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: July 18, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

no way they give Lincoln, Tabata, etc for Pence.  Alvarez is still the guy.



Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:54 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

If Pence goes to the Pirates, it wont be for long.The Pirates simply can't afford the salery a player of Pences caliber. Players usually want to get out of Pittsburgh.I can't imagine any player wanting to get sent to a team that pays slave wages compared to teams that over-pay like Washington,NY,Boston, & others.I think Pence is going somewhere, just not to Pittsburgh--The 2nd nastiest city in the country.
Your point, on its face, seems valid, but I am going to have to disagree with you.

I have lived in South Florida and I now live in the Pittsburgh area. In Florida, it doesn't matter what you do, you are going to have a tough time generating long-term interest in the Marlins. Sure you might draw 60k for an NLCS game, but are you going to hit 30k as a year-long average - no way.

Pittsburgh on the other hand has great sports fans. If the Pirates could put a good product on the field (think Minnesota Twins before this year) the fans will support the team enough to justify some big salaries. The Steelers and the Penguins sellout every home game, and the Pirates have been drawing very good crowds the last two months. In my opinion, if the franchise makes a commitment to winning, the fans will repay the investment. 



Since: Sep 9, 2010
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

This would only make sense if the Pirates would give him a 4/5 year deal.  They do have the prospects to make it worth Houston's while.

Starting pitcher Lincoln (Texas boy) Tabata (replacement for Pence) Bowlker (gets Lee out of the outfield) and maybe even one more prospect
Harrison or a AA pitcher.




Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

Always willing to listen, but I do believe that the "asking" price would be too steep for Pence.  Pence is a tremendous player who would obviously help the Pirates, but at what cost?  Listen, I'm all for the Pirates dipping their toes in the "available player pond" and see what's biting, but not if it means taking one step forward and two steps back?  The atmosphere here in Pittsburgh is "over the top" these day's with the improved play of the Pirates, but the realists(and I'm one), is not buying that (this) is their year.  Have they improved?  Hell ya'.  But, there's a mountain of difference between "improving" and "knockin' on the door"!  They are at least 2 to 3 years away from being "serious" contenders, not just flirting with .500.  And that is based on them "staying the course" and not doing anything resembling stupid as they have in the past 18 years?  I'm drinking the cool-aid, but not as much as those who are printing World series tickets for this year?  But, it is a lot of fun being considered "buyers" after all these years.  So, with that being said, go ahead and walk into that candy store Bucco's, look around, ask for some samples and think about it...   



Since: Apr 21, 2010
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

Lets go Bucs! I hope they make the trade-solid pitching plus another bat! St. Louis is not all that and the reds have 0 pitching!



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:40 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

If Pence goes to the Pirates, it wont be for long.The Pirates simply can't afford the salery a player of Pences caliber. Players usually want to get out of Pittsburgh.I can't imagine any player wanting to get sent to a team that pays slave wages compared to teams that over-pay like Washington,NY,Boston, & others.I think Pence is going somewhere, just not to Pittsburgh--The 2nd nastiest city in the country.



Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

The Pirates are at least 2 starting pitchers short of being a contender.

===========================

More like 1 good power hitter, starting pitching isn't the problem.




Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:34 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

Not going to happen. No one really believes that the Pirates have any realistic chance of making the playoffs. They are a good young team that's getting better but no way are they going to finish above the Reds, Cards, or Brewers. The Pirates are at least 2 starting pitchers short of being a contender.



Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

give them Alvarez and a pitcher




Since: Jan 11, 2010
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Pence to Pirates is hot new trade rumor

You got yourself a valid trade rumor, but i don't think the Pirates will give up what the Astros are asking in return, with could be in the neighborhood of 2 OFs, a SS and P.


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