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It’s getting closer to last call and Hunter Pence is starting to look better

Jul 29, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

pence getty wide Getty Images

Buster Olney put the trade dynamic in perspective this morning, reminding us that for all of this excitement and all of the teams trying to outdo one another for the likes of Hunter Pence, he’s currently 18th in batting average, 50th in OBP and 54th in slugging.  Elite? No.  More like the last dude at the bar at last call who, while having someone to recommend him, is not who the Phillies planned on taking home with them when they got here earlier this evening.  But hey, better than going home alone, right?

For what it’s worth, Olney says there’s a “bidding war” afoot.  Ken Rosenthal says the Phillies are making progress, and that the package they want to send to Houston is centered around Single-A right-hander Jarred Cosart and Single-A first baseman Jonathan Singleton. That may not be enough, though, and the Braves lurk.

Closing time is coming soon, bidders. Gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits. I hope you have found a friend.

  1. bcopus - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    Ahh, Semisonic. The poster child for the mediocrity that was the 90′s.

    • bleedgreen - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Bite your tongue. The 90′s kicks the crap out of just about anything released in the last 10 years.

    • seattlej - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      … and I suppose you prefer the Butt Rock dominated 80s?

  2. bwebster614 - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think Carlos Quentin would look better and be a better fit for the Phillies right now. I wonder what the chances of that are happening, or if this Hunter Pence deal is currently on hold because the Phils are looking into another option?

  3. Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    The attractive thing about Pence is that he’s more than a rental, though he’s going to get paid decently over the next two years.

    Going with your analogy, he’s the boring one who’d be good to settle down with.

    • kopy - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      Adding on to that, he’s rarely injured and has had consistent numbers through the years.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Not sure if the analogy quite works, at least in the case of the Phillies. For better or worse, Pence appears to be the guy they wanted from the start. As I stated before, it is being reported that the asking price appears to be Cosart and Singleton as you said, but also Trevor May and maybe a 4th. That seems like an awful lot to me. I’m not sold on Cosart like others are but I think May will be special. That and he sports an 80′s porn mustache.

  5. skane2005 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    This is obviously just my opinion, but I think the only reason this deal hasnt happened yet is because Ed Wade needs to save face after his previous dealings with the Phillies (his old team). He needs to make a mega-splash deal for the Astros or he gets his walking papers after this season. I still think it’s going to happen because the Phillies are in it to win it this season at all costs.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      Wade is getting his walking papers no matter what….unless he turns Clint Barmes and Brett Myers into Matt Kemp. From the Phillies perspective, I don’t know about this. I’m glad I don’t have to make this decision. Like I said, that is one hell of a package to give up for a good not great player. Here’s hoping that at the very least maybe RAJ can squeeze Barmes or Downs in the potential deal as well.

      • seattlej - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:53 AM

        Well, when you pick up the phone and call Ned Colletti, you never know what might happen. Though, based on previous track record, he’d be much more likely to turn them into Zack Lee, Dee Gordon, Trayvon Robinson and any other talented youngsters that LA has in the minors.

  6. legaleagle513 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    I would love to see Pence in a Phillies uniform. I’m starting to get sick of seeing only 3 hits a night. With Pence I would se 4.

    • bleedgreen - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM

      3 hits a night? Not sure if you’ve noticed but the past 2 nights are the first down nights for the offense in quite a while.

      • seanmk - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        got to love complaining about a team that hasn’t lost two games in a row in over 50 games

      • legaleagle513 - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        Not complaining. Just stating facts. Count how many games they have 5 hits or less. I watch or listen to every game. It does not matter how many games they win or how many months they go without losing back to back games, if you can’t be the Giants in a 3 game series in your ballpark it’s all for naught. Just saying. Get a bat please.

      • seanmk - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        well you are complaining about a series in which halladay and lee don’t pitch also. this series doesn’t define ANYTHING. the only team i care about facing is a series against the braves. plus there is a 4 game series coming up in san fran, but again winning now has no bearing on winning in october. in 2009 the phillies beat the yankees in new york 2 out of 3 and should have been 3 out of 3 if not for a lidge blown save, there is no such thing as a defining non interdivisional series unless it’s for the wildcard.

    • nategearhart - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      So I guess you never watch a whole game…..

      • legaleagle513 - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        Do you like the team the way it is now? Think they can win the series with this team on offense? Tell me honestly you wouldn’t like them to add a decent bat. Thats all I’m saying.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        They can absolutely win the World Series with the team as is right now…well switching Polanco for Martinez. The need for a right handed bat is grossly over stated. If they can make a reasonable deal, that is cool….but don’t get fleeced for the sake of making a move. The difference between a Brown/Mayberry platoon and Pence is not as great as some are making it out to be. In my opinion it will not be the difference maker come playoff time.

      • seanmk - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        they need a bullpen arm before they need a bat in my opinion. granted that if oswalt comes back and worley goes to the pen, it’s better i’d still like an upgrade there. as far as a bat you can get a guy in august and be fine. matt stairs in 2008 jerry hairston/eric hinski 2009 cody ross/pat burrell in 2010. little moves matter

      • nategearhart - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        I’m actually not a Phillies fan. I’m a Kansas Citian, so a Royals fan, who has also rooted for the Giants for the past 6 years or so. So take my opinions as you will. But I think that as it stands now, the Phillies are a really special team. I’m not rooting for either of them, but I think anyone who wouldn’t put money on a PHI/BOS series is delusional. So yeah Pence would be a nice addition for you, but your offense isn’t exactly vacant without him.

  7. Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    It happens today for Philly or it doesn’t happen. I think Whatever Philly is offering for Pence will be acceptable, and if it isn’t could be used for other options out there. But I wouldn’t count on too many more players moving than 3. It’s not like Philly has a overflowing farm system.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:18 AM

      They Phillies farm system is a mixed bag. As you know, they have a ton of good young arms and “toolsy” outfielders….mainly at the lower levels. Some rate the system pretty high others on the high end of mediocre. That being said, losing the three prospects being mentioned would be a huge blow to the system….particularly Trevor May in my opinion.

  8. legaleagle513 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    The Phillies triple A team is in 1st place by 3 games over the Red Sox and 4 games over the Scranton Yankees. That has to mean something.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      It means Ryno is coaching them up. AAA for the Phillies has almost no relevance for the overall state of the farm system. They generally have career minor leaguers or fringe major leaguers there. Maybe they have a couple prospects (Aumont/Schwimmer/DeFratus) but generally it is guys who can be used to fill in for the big Phillies if need be. Honestly it is amazing that Ryno has them playing so well. They don’t have any consistent hitters and the starting staff is not good. The Iron Pigs bullpen has been good all year which has pretty much been their big strength.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      “That has to mean something.”

      An “oldish” AAA team with guys who will never pan out can win championships in AAA.

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    I wuoldnt make the deal that is being rumored for Pence. I would rather take the same deal, add the 4th prospect plus Worley or Brown to it and offer that to the Dodgers for Kemp. With all their problems, why wouldn’t they want to restock their minor league system with that kind of deal.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      Obviously you know that is what I would like them to do too. It just doesn’t seem like Kemp is available at all. I think it is too much for Pence as well. I could see a Cosart, Jiwan James, Aumont/DeFratus or a Singleton, Austin Hyatt, Gilles, Aumont….but Cosart and Singleton and Trevor May? Pence would have to be stellar to justify that deal.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:34 AM

        Agreed…if they are going to trade Cosart/Singleton/May, it better be for someone like Kemp and not Pence. I think adding another prospect and either Brown or Worley gets that deal done today.

  10. halladaysbiceps - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    Honestly, I’m getting sick of the name Hunter Pence. They are talking this guy up like he’s Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays or Albert Pujols. Seriously. At this point, I could care less if the Phillies aquire him or not. I don’t think he’s as good as people say he is and is not worth 4 top prospects that most reports are saying the Astros want. If he were a top eshelon player, say, like Albert Pujols (just an example), then I could see giving up this type of package.

    He’s not worth what the Astros want. Let them keep him.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      I agree. I would either do Singleton/Cosart for Pence or Brown/middling prospect for Pence. Anything more is way too much for the guy. Now for Kemp……..that’s a whole different story.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:40 AM

        I would give 2 of them up. No more. They get nothing from the major league roster.

        Absolutely agree with a guy like Kemp. If it were him we were talking about, now we talk 4-5 top players. Not Pence. He’s not worth it.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        I would not include Brown in any deal for Pence. I just wouldn’t. Not even straight up. For all his glaring faults, I have a gut feeling that Brown is going to be a star soon. Like next year soon.

    • nategearhart - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      I don’t get it either. Wade is in NO position to play hardball because when it comes down to it, PHI really doesn’t need Pence. If Wade caves (and he will) and takes crap for him, do it. But dealing so much for him helps no one but Pence. And why do him any favors?

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        Exactly. The Phils have robbed him without a gun in the past and will continue to do so. I agree. Give him a couple of prospects. He will eventually take it and like it. Afterall, he knows he will be fired at the end of the season and will need to come back to Philly begging for another job.

        Ruben Amaro will give Wade a job shining his shoes and taking his suits out to the cleaners as a reminder to him how Amaro took him to the cleaners for the last 3 years.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        I think RAJ got the better of him in the Oswalt deal mainly because of poor Happ scouting. However, I think the Lidge deal was fair.

  11. legaleagle513 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Is Kemp even available? He would definitely be first on my list but I don’t think the Dodgers are doing anything.
    Is there any credible talk about Kemp out there?

    • halladaysbiceps - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Not at all. If you hear one, it’s bogus. No way LA trades him. I don’t know if MLB would even allow the thief known as Frank McCourt to trade him, being that they have a liason with the Dodgers now and all trades must go through the comissioner’s office.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:48 AM

      Unless he has become Babe Ruth or Albert Pujols, I would think he is available for the right deal. NinJr could be talking to Ned Colletti right now and even Ned wouldn’t know it was happening ;)

      Seriously, if the Phillies offered Singleton/Cosart/May/Brown for Kemp, how could the Dodgers turn that down? Yeah Kemp is having a great year, but let’s not forget that last year, he hit .249 with a .760 OPS.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        Don’t get me wrong, Chris. I would do that trade you propose for Kemp in a heartbeat. McCourt would probably do it as well to save more money from his payroll that he owes. Hell, if he could, he would probably be having a fire sale of all of his top players at the deadline if he could, being that all indications are he is losing the club.

        I just don’t think MLB and Darth Selig will allow it, being that they have some decision input into the team at this juncture.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        Darth Selig…that is a good one. I don’t know how the Dodgers could turn down that deal either.. assuming they were given the option.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        Look at it from the Dodgers’ perspective. They have a talented core group of guys on that team to compete sans the ownership mess. Once they have the new owner, they will need to aquire some additional pieces to compete again.

        Why would they trade the core piece to that group? They are not in rebuilding mode at this point. They just have an aweful ownership problem at this time.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:08 AM

        bicept, there is no way in hell baseball would stop that deal from being made. None. Kemp is only making 5 million this year and he is arb eligible next year. So it isn’t like it is a salary dump for the dodgers. They would be getting 3 young players who are all top prospects in the minors and one, Brown, who could step right into their outfield and start today.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        I guess I just don’t see the Dodgers trading Kemp. Put it this way: If Kemp or any other Dodger were to be had, you would have heard about it. Don’t you think that 29 other teams have not called the Dodgers about their player availability? If the Dodger’s were willing to deal him, it would have definitely been leaked. I think the Dodgers as an organization are in a hold pattern until the McCourt mess is resolved.

  12. sdelmonte - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    I just love that the Mets trading Beltran to someone other than the Phils could lead the Phils to over-pay for Pence. (I take my victories where I can get them.)

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      I hope you are wrong, but sadly, I think you are 100% correct. Johan also pitched pretty well yesterday in a rehab start, so you can hang your hat on that as well. Plus, the Mets are only 6 back of the Braves in the loss column and without McCann, the Braves are definitely catchable.

      Thing look so bright for the Mets and all you can do is still hate on the Phillies? Shame on you ;)

  13. macjacmccoy - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    I dont know what your talking about Pence has always been the best free agent available. Hes a lot better of a player then Beltran who is under control for longer and has way less injury problems.

    Your talking like stats mean everything when it comes to Pence but I dont hear you talking that way about Heyward. That guy has been atrocious this year.

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