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Pirates, others like Pence but he's not available --- not yet, anyway

At least the Pirates have interest in Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, and probably several other teams would, too. But unless something changes, he's staying in San Francisco.

The Pirates, who are in playoff position after a superb first half, seek right field help -- as one scout put it, "they have a right field problem" -- and also have interest in Alex Rios of the White Sox, as was reported Friday. The overall outfield market is pretty thin, though, especially if Pence stays put.

Pence was a bit of a surprise to be traded at the deadline last July, but the Giants have a greater attachment to him than did the Phillies, even though he's a free agent-to-be this year. Pence helped the Giants win their second World Series in three years in 2012, thanks to his inspirational speech before Game 3 of the NLDS vs. the Reds when the Giants were down 2-0 in games, and also to his famed 'triple double' base-hit when he actually struck a pitched ball multiple times, leading to a spinning ground double that cleared the bases in the Giants' Game 7 NLCS win over the Cardinals.

Giants people are saying for them to consider trading Pence, 1) they'd have to be out of the race, and 2) they'd have to be overwhelmed.

They aren't out of the race in the tight NL West, not by a long shot, as they stand just 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Diamondbacks. Pence, a two-time All-Star who was beaten out on the 'final vote' by Freddie Freeman for this year's team, is hitting .262 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI.

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