For the second time in two years, Hunter Pence has been dealt near or at the trade deadline. Both times he’s gone from worst to first, but this time he’s heading back out west to the San Francisco Giants. On trade deadline day, the Philadelphia Phillies traded the two-time All Star to the San Francisco for OF Nate Schierholtz and two prospects, catcher Tommy Joseph and RHP Seth Rosin.
Jake Kaplan, MLB.com’s Phillies beat reporter, Tweeted the details late Tuesday night:
#Phillies make trade official: Hunter Pence and cash to the San Francisco Giants for OF Nate Schierholtz, C Tommy Joseph and RHP Seth Rosin.
— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) July 31, 2012
In 155 games with Philadelphia, Pence batted .297 with 26 homers and 94 RBIs, the latter two of which led the team during that time period.
He fills the Giants’ need for a right-handed batter with a bit of pop—the same reason the Phils needed him last year. In 76 at bats in AT&T Park, Pence is batting .329 with 5 HR and 10 RBIs. This is quite a disappointment for Phillies fans, who thought Pence could be the cornerstone of a new era in Philadelphia seeing as he was their second-best hitter behind Carlos Ruiz in 2012.
To help assuage the loss of their second top-tier outfielder—the other being Shane Victorino—the Phils acquired Nate Schierholtz, who is batting .257 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 77 games this season. In his career with San Francisco (503 games), he was a .270 batter with 119 RBIs. He is no Pence, but the Giants weren’t going to part with a top-tier Major Leaguer given the state of their division race.
With the trade, the Phillies get to rebuild while Pence gets another shot at the postseason. Pence will help replace the injured Pablo Sandoval in the lineup and presumably bat fifth behind All-Star starters Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey.
As for Schierholtz, he will most likely get more playing time in the outfield but will still have to compete with youngsters Dominic Brown and John Mayberry Jr.
Joseph was the Giants’ no. 2 prospect, as ranked by Baseball America. He’s hitting .260 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 80 games with AA Richmond. Rosin, a Class A advanced reliever, was 2-1 with 10 saves and a 4.31 ERA in 34 games (five starts) this season.
Pence is making $10.4 million, the main reason the Phils decided to dump him, this year and plans to get an arbitration raise in this year’s offseason. He was an instant hit in Philadelphia when he first arrived and will definitely make a splash (pun intended) in San Francisco as well.