While early rumors have the Philadelphia Phillies shopping center fielder Shane Victorino, don’t be surprised if another Phillies outfielder is sent packing in upcoming weeks. Right fielder Hunter Pence is likely to bring back more in a trade than soon-to-be free agent Victorino would. Pence would be a great addition to any team in need of offense that already has a star player or two in its lineup. While he does not perform well as “the man” in a lineup, he is a more than adequate supporting character for a team.
Pence is signed through the 2013 season, and any team that traded for him would have a more room to re-sign him, as opposed to Victorino going free after this season. Pence is also a few years younger, which makes him more enticing to a team on the cusp of winning in the next three to six years. Pence has had a rough year in the field, and his inability to make routine plays is causing Philadelphia fans to fall out of love with him. His offensive numbers are still stellar, but his worth and his defensive struggles may be leading him out the door faster than most expect.
When Pence arrived in Philly last season, he was considered a cornerstone for the next generation of Phillies. He and Domonic Brown were expected to take over when Ryan Howard and Chase Utley started to decline. Well, the decline of Howard and Utley has already started, and Pence seems to be fielding his way out of the future plans of the organization. Pence would be a nice pickup for a teams, such as Toronto or Pittsburgh, that are close to making a playoff run but could use one more bat. If the Phillies decide to clean house, do not be surprised to see him go. His perceived worth might actually help the Phillies from declining in upcoming years, and that may be worth more to Philadelphia then him being in the lineup.