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Hunter Pence gets $13.8 million to avoid arbitration with Giants

Jan 18, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT

Hunter Pence Reuters Reuters

Shortly after the season ended there was some speculation that the Giants would non-tender Hunter Pence rather than pay him a big salary via arbitration following a down year.

General manager Brian Sabean quickly shot that notion down, making it clear he wanted Pence back in 2013, and now we see the price tag: Jon Heyman of reports that Pence and the Giants have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $13.8 million deal.

That means the Giants feared he’d get more than that via an actual arbitration hearing and as crazy as that sounds it was very possible considering Pence was paid $10.4 million last season and … well, that’s just how arbitration works.

Of course, there was nothing forcing the Giants to keep Pence after he hit just .253 with a .319 on-base percentage and .425 slugging percentage in 160 games last year and it’s hard to imagine him getting $13.8 million per season on the open market. San Francisco’s commitment is only one season, which is a key factor, but even if he bounces back to pre-2012 production (.293 AVG, .825 OPS from 2009-2011) it’s still debatable if Pence is worth that money. He’ll be a free agent next offseason.

  1. smoochytherhino - Jan 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Pence and his looney swing (more holes than swiss cheese) are not worth that salary in my opinion. He’s good but not that good. Sabean’s weird. His track record is an interesting mixture of great moves and terrible moves.

    • cebig - Jan 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      Yeah they sure do have a horrible team there….

      • smoochytherhino - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        Oh come on Sabean traded Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano for AJ Pierzynski who stayed for one year and was released. He traded Jeremy Accardo away when he was good for Shea Hillebrand. He signed Aaron Rowand to a monstrously ridiculous contract that I think they paid for until this year. He gave Aubrey Huff a deal no one else in the league would have even considered and Huff promptly went batty (not in a good way). And he fielded an offense full of old, slow also rans until about two years ago.

        I said he has made great moves too, and he has. Especially with his pitching and through the draft. They have a really great team now, but I stand by my post.

      • cebig - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        You can stand by your post while he stands by his World Series trophies. All GMs make a few bad moves. Rowand was real bad, but all these bad moves lead to were championships. Pick any GM in the league and you and I both can pick out a handful of good and bad deals.

    • srgpsycho - Jan 19, 2013 at 5:39 AM

      Pence is a great example of a child w/bad habits producing great #’s during his youthful days & no one having the courage to correct his bad habits. You can get away with that stuff in T-ball but when you get to the majors you better have a common sense approach or these pitchers will have you for lunch. Hell even I most likely could strike out Pence. Simple,bust him in off the plate then you own the outside. Easily proven,just watch the replays of the playoffs & the world series. Nice guy,fans like him but like & favoritism never brought a world championship. Hopefully SF’s hitting coach can make some abrupt changes as he surly needs a few but reality is it’s tough to teach dog’s new tricks when they’ve been performing those loosing actions for a lifetime. Nice guy but as said this doesn’t get you to the promised land.

      • srgpsycho - Jan 19, 2013 at 5:41 AM

        I remember seeing swings like his on antique Nintendo games during my earlier days.

  2. darthicarus - Jan 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Please tell me I’m not the only person who thought Volkswagen used Pence as a basis for the dad in this commercial.

    Hunter gives hope to guys like this.

    • darthicarus - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      Also, I believe the kid was given video of Delmon Young throwing as inspiration.

    • srgpsycho - Jan 19, 2013 at 5:42 AM

      Maybe Pence missed his calling.

  3. hansob - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    There’s a lot of upside for the Giants. If he’s just a good player (3 WAR), then they get their money’s worth AND the opportunity to grab a draft pick by giving him a qualifying offer for 2014, or get a slight discount on an extension by holding that tag over his head, which we’ve seen this offseason does suppress free agent value.

  4. loungefly74 - Jan 18, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    the key point…it’s just 1 year.

    maybe HP has that “clubhouse attitude” they want? IDK…i think the way those guys felt and how they approached the game, that was the key to their success(es). HP is a great guy to have in the dugout. Good for the kid.

  5. proudlycanadian - Jan 18, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    The Red Sox would have offered him $39 million over 3 years if he had neen non tendered.

    • srgpsycho - Jan 19, 2013 at 5:45 AM

      If he was smart he’d call Magic to get a easy 60 mil from LA. Those dudes throw money away like I take out the trash.

  6. stercuilus65 - Jan 18, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    13.8 mill for a .743 ops? ROTFLOL

    This guy only put up halfway decent numbers because he played in Houston. He’s going to continue to suck in SF.

  7. moogro - Jan 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    I’m not a fan of SF but baseball generally, and that 2 hour 2012 SF playoff “march to the series” or something recap they are running on MLB TV is amazing television. There were more subplots and storylines than I remember from that time.

  8. pandorasdadca - Jan 18, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Pence has value to a team that don’t show in stats. Maybe not 13.8 mil, but hey, Sabean on a WS hangover. The whole team is coming back to try and defend.

  9. yankeepunk3000 - Jan 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    he wasnt amazing last year but putting him behind Posey and sandavol makes the lineup a lot more potent…atleast year its not a bad move

    • srgpsycho - Jan 19, 2013 at 5:46 AM

      No Protection there! Did you watch the post season in 2012? Send him to the Yankees! We don’t want him!

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