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Hunter Pence is more likely than ever to get dealt

Jul 28, 2011, 7:11 PM EDT

Hunter Pence AP

FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi is putting the odds of a Hunter Pence deal at better than 50/50 and says the Indians are still involved despite picking up Kosuke Fukudome earlier Thursday.

The Phillies and Braves have reportedly been the more intense pursuers of Pence, but many have inquired.  The Red Sox and Reds are among those doing their homework.  The Rangers, though, aren’t in the hunt at the moment.

The Astros reportedly backed out of a deal with the Phillies that would have netted them big first baseman Jonathan Singleton and top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart for Pence.  Still, it doesn’t sound as though the Phillies have given up on Pence yet.

The Braves have more to offer with a stable of young pitchers that includes Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Randall Delgado and Mike Minor, but Teheran probably isn’t on the table and it’s doubtful the Braves would give up two of the others in order to get a deal done.

Speculation is that the Braves would send down Jason Heyward if they were able to land Pence to play right field.  Still, it’s worth wondering if that would really leave them any better off.  Heyward has hit .231/.306/.400 with four homers and 15 RBI in 130 at-bats since coming off the DL on June 15.  Pence is at .277/.336/.387 with two homers and 12 RBI in 119 at-bats over the same span.  Pence was certainly better during the first two months of the season, but Heyward was easily the superior player last year.

The Braves, though, would have room for both if they so desired.  Left fielder Martin Prado may frequently be needed at third base with Chipper Jones dinged up, and either Pence or Heyward could play some center when everyone is healthy.

The Astros want pitching, pitching and more pitching in return for Pence, and no team has more to offer than the Braves.  There’s still almost three days left for something to get done.

  1. 49ersallday - Jul 28, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    I’ve been a braves fan all my life and if they send heyward for pence that would be the stupidest trade we have ever made

    • mszar - Jul 28, 2011 at 7:45 PM

      Where do you get Heyward being traded for Pence? That is reported nowhere in this article and has been reported nowhere else.

      • bloodysock - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:30 PM

        Apparently someone got hit in the head with a Tomahawk Chop.

    • kingjoe1 - Jul 28, 2011 at 7:46 PM

      BRaves fans obviously can’t read.

      • irishjackmp - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM

        Have you seen the acres of empty seats at Braves games on tv? I didn’t realize there were Braves fans.

    • philsfan1 - Jul 29, 2011 at 7:48 PM

      Are the Braves people that stupid? That sounds like an Andy Reid deal.

  2. mszar - Jul 28, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    How do you take this article seriously when the writer claims “Pence was certainly better during the first two months of the season, but Heyward was easily the superior player last year.”

    That really jumped out at me.

    Last year Pence had more HR’s, RBI’s, SB’s, Runs and hit for a higher average than Heyward.

    But Heyward was easily superior?

    Great reporting.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:00 PM

      Seventy points of OBP and similar power despite playing in a much less hitter-friendly park is a mountain of an advantage. Heyward’s OPS+ last year was 130. Pence’s was 113. So, yeah, clearly superior.

      • mszar - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:21 PM

        Talk to me when they start passing out MVP’s and HOF inductions based on OPS.

        Trendy stat categories that guys like Tim Kurkjian (and others) throw out to sound smart.

        Ask any GM what year they would prefer from 2010 – Pence or Heyward and every GM would say Pence.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:37 PM

        Yeah, I’m sure Epstein, Friedman, Cashman, AA, Alderson, Hoyer and Beane are all judge players by HR and RBI. You also must not have been paying attention to the ’09 AL MVP vote.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:30 AM

        Wow. OPS is a trendy statistic? Slugging and OBP? Wow.

        Awards ARE given out based on WAY more in-depth statistics than that.

  3. 49ersallday - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    ummm let’s see 4th paragraph , start at speculations

  4. paul621 - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    @49ers: “down” means minors, not Houston.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:09 PM

      Maybe he was equating Houston to the minor leagues? That isn’t totally unreasonable.

  5. gmc173 - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    49 is was the 5th paragraph and down meant to AAA not down and west to Houston. Learn how to read then ENTIRE sentence the write…..Still only 5 back GO PHILS

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    From what is being reported it looks like the Astros and Phillies have at least agreed upon Cosart and Singleton. Haggling over a 3rd and maybe 4th prospect. Dom Brown not involved. It also seems that if deal doesn’t happen tomorrow, then the deal doesn’t happen at all.

  7. 49ersallday - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    well I thought that , but h e l l no, he ain’t goin to the minors , I love how everybody talks smack online but wouldn’t dare say this face to face , either way braves equal world series champs this year, after we get quentin not pence

    • TheBlindUmp - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:05 AM

      Huh??? What? Face to face and you beat him within an inch of his life? Are you from SmellA?

    • skins33 - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:11 AM

      You’re a clown. You made a fool out of yourself because you have the reading comprehension level of a grade school kid. I’d gladly say it to your face.

    • foreverchipper10 - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      The “smack” you are referring to is people explaining the article to you. You stated the Braves were trading Heyward for Pence. That was not the case. It was pointed out and you became more defensive. I don’t get it.

  8. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Hunter Pence would look good in red pinstripes. We need that RH bat. Help us out Ed. Again.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:35 AM

      It appears the 3rd prospect haggling is over Trevor May. May, Cosart, and Singleton is a hefty price to pay. If they Phillies give that up I hope they also get Barmes or Downs.

      • TheBlindUmp - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:08 AM

        They need to do *something* if they want to keep up with the Gigantes!

      • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:33 AM

        Giants + Carlos Beltran < Phillies

  9. dentonramsey - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Trading Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence would take heart, soul from Houston Astros

    By Denton Ramsey

    First, there were talks of Hunter Pence being traded before the deadline.

    Next, we were informed Pence wasn’t on the trade market and would remain in Houston this season.

    Now, Pence talks are once again heating up and the Phillies appear to be the front runners to land the coveted and speedy right fielder.

    In addition, there are talks of Astros center fielder Michael Bourn to the Cincinnati Reds.

    And all this trade talk with teams for Class A prospects in return?

    Houston’s offense, as bad as it may be, centers around Bourn and Pence.

    Without those two, the last-place Astros are certainly doomed not only now, but for a couple tough years to come.

    Then again, this wouldn’t be the first time Houston teams have broken fans’ hearts.

    In fact, I can think of four players on two teams just within the past year: Shane Battier (Rockets), Lance Berkman (Astros), Aaron Brooks (Rockets), and Roy Oswalt (Astros).

    To a certain degree, my inner-coach is telling me to quit browsing the news stories online surrounding potential trades of guys like Bourn and Pence.

    But at the same time, it’s infuriating to think the team is even CONSIDERING parting ways with those two; without them, the Astros are destined to lose 120 or more games.

    That record in and of itself would make the record books for the most regular season losses by a Major League Baseball team in the past 40 years.

    Houston, we have a problem…

    Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

  10. philsfan1 - Jul 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Pence isn’t coming to Phils! We can’t give our top kids all the time for one player. That’s my personal feeling, not saying the trade won’t happen. Astros have to give us Jason Michaels as well if Trevor May is to be included in this deal.Dom Brown will not work here, change may do good.

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