The MLB Trade Deadline is at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and the Cincinnati Reds have reportedly talked to the San Francisco Giants about making a deal that would send outfielder Hunter Pence to Cincinnati.
The Reds’ offense could use another bat, there is no question about that. Pence could provide the Reds with everything they need. He has a respectable batting average of .277, has hit a solid 14 home runs, has knocked in 51 runs and has 14 stolen bases this season. Pence can also play defense very well, so he could help the Reds quite a bit with his talents.
If the Reds traded for Pence, they would likely have to give up a good hitter or two and a pitcher. I could see the Reds trading Chris Heisey , Tony Cingrani and Neftali Soto to San Francisco in exchange for Pence. The Giants need a young, talented pitcher, as guys like Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito are getting old and not performing as well. They would also need to replace Pence in the outfield; Heisey could be his replacement. Soto might not start in San Francisco right away, but he would at some point.
The Reds would likely be willing to give up Heisey, Cingrani and Soto in exchange for Pence. The team has an abundance of outfielders, so it would not be detrimental to trade Heisey. Soto is a great first baseman, but Joey Votto will be the Reds’ first baseman for a long time, and there is no way Soto would ever start over him. Cingrani has pitched very well this season, it’s hard to believe he’s still a rookie. It would be tough to give him up, but they might have to.
If the Reds do trade for Pence, it would be a challenge to figure out where to place him on the field. Pence has only played two positions, center field and right field. In center, Shin-Soo Choo is a lock, and in right, Jay Bruce is a lock. The Reds could try to move Pence to left field, but as soon as he would get his feet wet as the Reds’ everyday left fielder, Ryan Ludwick would be returning from the DL.
While Pence may be one of the better players in the National League, trading for him would cause a lot of stress and create a lot of headaches for the Reds. Plus, Pence would only be a rental player, meaning he would only play for the Reds for the remainder of the season, then he would be a free agent and go wherever he wants.
I can see the pros and cons of trading for Pence, but if I was in charge, I would not make this trade.