A Very Quick Note on Hunter Pence

On Monday, we’ll have a more thorough write-up of Hunter Pence‘s new $90 million contract with the Giants. For now, though, I figured this comparison was kind of fun: Here’s Nick Swisher in the three years leading up to the free-agent contract he signed last winter, compared with Pence’s performance during the past three seasons.

 

Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Nick Swisher 1894 0.274 0.366 0.478 0.367 129 -8.8 55.1 -8.0 11.4
Hunter Pence 2034 0.283 0.342 0.469 0.352 125 7.2 64.4 -22.8 11.2

Swisher got 4/56. Pence got 5/90. Pence is a hitting free agency a year younger and is coming off a significantly better walk year season, so it’s not a surprise that Pence got more than Swisher. Plus, with baseball’s economic strength, salaries should be expected to inflate every year for the foreseeable future. This is still a pretty big gap though.




Print This Post



Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

131 Responses to “A Very Quick Note on Hunter Pence”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. semperty says:

    Definitely don’t like this deal for San Francisco. I just don’t see him being worth $18M a year for more than maybe two of the five years (even then I’d question if he’ll be worth it for that long)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. JLRC says:

    I also thought Swisher was overpaid at the time, so this is pretty surprising. I remember Yankee fans fearing Swisher would take the qualifying offer.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • brad says:

      Fearing? I remember hoping he would, not fearing it. We all know the supposed explanation for the franchise’s relative penny pinching last offseason, and Swish has hardly been a standout this season, but even with all the injuries had Martin and Swisher been retained the Yankees would quite possibly still be in it. Swisher would still be a huge upgrade over the likes of Wells and Overbay.

      +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Rob says:

    Sure he’s overpaid but he’s a lot more fun to watch than Swisher.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Stuck in a slump says:

    Should have made a QO, watched his market diminish, then try to resign him.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jaack says:

      Then, of course, there is the risk that his market doesn’t diminish, and the Giants get stuck in January with Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez as starting outfielders.

      Its not a great contract for the Giants, but to get quality outfielders in this market, its what has to be done.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Near says:

        It’s a risk worth taking. San Francisco won’t be serious contenders again until 2015, when their farm system’s pitching class bears fruit. A rotation of an emerging Bumgarner but declining Cain + 3 other guys is laughable compared to the staff they had in 2010/2011. You can consider 2014 something akin to the Rays 2011 – officially, it should have been a rebuilding year, but there was potential for the postseason.

        San Francisco hates anything less than absolute certainty. It’s crazy for us to imagine this confidence is worth $30M, but baseball happened.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Stuck in a slump says:

        dont forget that there was mutual interest in him returning, so even if the QO didnt hurt his value, they could still have brought him back. Now they have set the market and we often see that early signers tend to cost more.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • DrBGiantsfan says:

          Larry Baer was in the TV booth today with Kruk and Kuip. He explained that the Giants are a classy organization. They don’t try to take advantage of loyal players. Win-win for Pence and the Giants.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. TheGrandslamwich says:

    It definitely seems like an overpay, even with all the new TV money coming in. The Giants were basically bidding against themselves for a player that for his career has provided similar value to guys like Swisher or Bourn, both of whom signed for significantly less last offseason.

    Who would actually have paid more for Pence on the open market? The Yankees are trying to get under the salary cap and have the Cano issue to deal with so they would likely be out. The Dodgers already have an OF logjam. The Angels probably couldn’t handle another huge contract. The Cubs, Epstein avoids these deals. That’s a lot of big players clearly out of the market for a decent OF. Maybe Boston would go for him if they can’t fit Ellsbury back in their budget. Maybe Philly or Seattle would make a move for him if they want to field a mediocre team while they rebuild. Perhaps Texas would make an offer, but I doubt it would be 5/$90 when they already have cheap in-house alternatives. It just seems like a big overpay when so many big market teams wont be in on a player.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • pft says:

      If the Yankees don’t sign Cano because his asking price is crazy and Arod gets suspended they will have plenty of dough to spend and still be under the cap. In fact, they have said they will go over the cap if needed to field a championship team.

      That’s a tough park to hit in, so Hunters numbers are pretty good. He killed the ball on the road. If he played at Fenway in that lineup and was moved to LF he would put up some pretty good numbers. With Ellsbury leaving they might have looked at Pence, but probably would not pay him 18 million a year.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Spike says:

      It looks like the Phils will also have a protected pick so they could be players for an impact OF bat too.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • rotowizard says:

      Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TheGrandslamwich says:

        It has a soft cap where teams pay a penalty when they go over a limit, and the penalty increases each year a team is over. The Yankees are hoping to avoid the penalty.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Fircoal says:

    The reason for the money difference is The Giants.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brad says:

      The fact that those same Giants won two championships in two years doesn’t exactly support your negative jab. Of course, no doubt you will have a plethora of excuses of why they “accidentally” won…

      -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Richie says:

        Inclined to agree it’s probably an insult of the Giants, but it doesn’t have to be so.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bip says:

        They accidentally won by accidentally having a lot of good players they developed.

        If I recall, their world series teams weren’t constructed so much as developed. Therefore I would give the scouting and coaching staff the bulk of the credit, not the front office.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Brad says:

          @Bip – Even though I don’t completely agree (every team have their overpays), it’s a fair point.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • thirteenthirteen says:

          Mmmm…I don’t think you’re giving the front office enough credit for their roster construction in 2012. Several important contributors to the 2012 championship (Pagan, Melky, Scutaro, Pence) were acquired via trade and a couple others (Blanco, Vogelsong) were NRIs. And their 2010 championship was rather famously constructed of a bunch of random old dudes they picked up from various places behind a really great primarily homegrown starting rotation. I think the only Giants-developed position players who regularly started on that team were Posey, Sandoval, and Schierholtz.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Why do people only focus on position players? Anywhere hear of the reasons why the Giants won? Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Sanchez, Wilson, Romo, as well as those position players, the Giants developed a lot of the team, and pitchers, the last I heard, are a very integral part of the team and their winning!

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • thirteenthirteen says:

          Are you responding to me, OGC? I’m not focusing on position players, I’m just saying that the Giants did not develop their team entirely internally. The FO did make a lot of decisions. I’m not totally sure what your point is…obviously a lot of their players were developed within the organization, too. But to say that the Giants won the WS based entirely on their development is not correct.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dustin says:

        Two championships in *three* years.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • channelclemente says:

          Somebody, somewhere in the Giants organization clearly knows what they’re doing. I’d now add Belt to the afore mentioned list of home developed talent.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Free Bryan LaHair says:

          @Clemente and zack whee– er, too soon?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. RM9CK says:

    Talk about cherry picking. A three year time frame? Why not four or five years? Or two ?

    Bottom line: Pence had a 5.3 WAR in his walk year. Swisher had a 3.8 WAR in his walk year. That alone explains why Pence is getting 34MM more than Swisher.

    Here’s a better comp: Adrian Beltre 5/80 deal with Texas three years ago. You could make the same argument that Beltre was overpaid by the Rangers for having one good season in his walk year at Boston after multiple years of mediocrity in Seattle. But I doubt the Rangers regret paying Beltre because they saw improvement in him as a hitter.

    -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • John Stamos says:

      Isn’t three years the standard for inputs when projecting? Seems like a reasonable visual for a “quick note.”

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Stuck in a slump says:

      34 mil for 1.5 WAR is a significant over pay. Pence was also a below average player as recently as last year.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Alex says:

      Beltre was a 3-win/year player in Seattle — he wasn’t mediocre.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Shankbone says:

      Swisher is already playing 1B in the first year of the contract. 110 games at first with CLE, and 41 during his walk year. That def score for Swisher versus Pence looks highly suspect to me. I wouldn’t want Swisher anywhere near the OF, especially a difficult one like Pac Bell.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Spike says:

      I don’t know if it’s cherry-picking so much as it’s just Pence is the more well-rounded player. He’s been a very good OFer this season and has more OF assists than all other RFers the past 5 yrs than only Nick Markakis or Frenchy iirc. He’s also a highly rated baserunner at least this year.

      Maybe he’s having a career year but overall he’s a pretty underrated player. He’s been very consistent the past 6 seasons (aside from ’12). He really does everything well *and* he’s averaged about 158 games a season since becoming a regular in ’08. There’s very little not to like about Pence frankly. I don’t think the Giants will be unhappy by the end of this deal.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joe Veno says:

      Beltre’s one of the greatest defensive 3B to ever play the game. That was bound to continue for a few more years, at least. So he didn’t have to hit quite like he hit in 2010.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Irv says:

    Agree with Stuck in a Slump. I’d wager the QO brought Swisher’s value down quite a bit. Not to make up the difference, but when you add in Pence’s superior walk year and age, it makes things a lot closer.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bhaakon says:

      And the Giants wouldn’t have made the qualifying offer? Losing the potential compensation pick should have factored into the Giants’ salary calculus, but apparently they ignored it completely and overpaid on top of that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Shankbone says:

        I’d say they maximized their efforts on their exclusive negotiating window period to re-sign their guy. QO might have reduced his value, but the Phils or Mets might have been interested, with a protected pick to minimize their own damage. The WAR score is a fun exercise, but the open market is where the reality is for GMs.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Bhaakon says:

          The bottom line is where the reality is for GMs, and letting the uncertainty of the open market scare him into bad extensions does a GM no favors.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Shankbone says:

          There is a good chance its not a bad extension though, and the open market has 3 OFs, of which this guy is the only one who can put up 20/20. Ellsbury has better position, better D but no power and injury history. Choo has better OBP but not as good splits, the defense maybe a little light. Assuming the open market will wait for you to get the best deal doesn’t always work out. Sometimes you get Bourn (the Braves did in trade, as did the Indians on the FA market), and sometimes you get left with nothing.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Bhaakon says:

          If a 30 year old has to maintain his career per 162 performance through age 35 to make a deal work out, then it’s a questionable deal at best from the team’s perspective.

          +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Ruki Motomiya says:

          5 years/90 mil means 18 required WAR at 5 mil per win (I hear figures using 6, plus possible inflation).

          Over the last 5 years, Pence has put up 17.7 WAR, despite having a year of 1.5 WAR on the book (In fact, it includes his 2 worst years).

          Perhaps more importantly, 18 WAR over 5 years averages out to 3.6 WAR per year, which considering his last 3 years have included two 4+ win seasons, seems very achievable. While Pence might fall flat about $10 mil, I’d say 10 mil is fine if it locks up someone from being competed against by, say, the Yankees as an example.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • chuckb says:

          18 WAR over 5 years from ages 33-37 for Pence seems very achievable?

          I’d call it very unlikely.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • vivalajeter says:

          Shankbone, you wrote “this guy is the only one who can put up 20/20″. You do realize that Choo put up a 20/20 season this year, right?

          Ruki, if he put up less than 18 WAR in his 5 peak-age seasons, it’s highly unlikely he’ll put up 18 WAR in his post-peak seasons.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Shankbone says:

          Vivalajeter – yep he sure did. In Great American Ballpark. But he also did it twice in Cleveland. I like Choo. I don’t think his power profile would play very well at AT&T though, there’d be a lot of dead soldiers in Triples Alley. But he does have good oppo field power, so maybe it would. Doubt the Giants will find out, he’ll cost the draft pick and 6/100 plus.

          Pence doesn’t cost a pick for the Giants, maybe it doesn’t factor into the negotiation but it does still effect their bottom line for development purposes.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Kevin says:

    Awful deal for SF

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Louie says:

    That’s $90 million per batting glove.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Richie says:

    I agree it’s an overpay. But if you don’t ‘reward’ your players some for good performance, you get a really crappy clubhouse pretty quick. Factoring that in, I think it’s only a minor overpay.

    But then I also see the Giants as very much a contender next year. The Dodgers being an old team with a crappy bench and a number of players looking at major regression next year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Frank says:

      And the Giants have an even crappier bench and a worse pitching staff.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Rick says:

      “But if you don’t ‘reward’ your players some for good performance, you get a really crappy clubhouse pretty quick”
      If you can provide any evidence of this I would start to consider this as true. For example, I see the other team in the Bay Area (Oakland A’s), that typically has a budget that doesn’t allow them to pay for anybody, but they are historically known for having a great clubhouse.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Gee's Up, Hoes Down says:

    Also consider over the years how difficult it has been for the Giants to sign power hitters because of their park. Fair or not (the single season home run record was set there after all), it is viewed by power hitters as a difficult park to hit in. When you have someone with 25-30 homer potential actually wanting to play there, you sign him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bip says:

      There isn’t much to the theory that a team must be well-rounded. If the Giants decided to pass on Pence and instead signed a better pitcher who took a discount because he wanted to play in a pitcher’s park, they’d be better off, even if they lack power.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. defense says:

    Back of the napkin projection and FA dollar amount:

    Year—–Pence WAR—$/WAR—–Total Value
    1———3.5———5———-19.5
    2———3———–5.5——–16.5
    3———2.5———6———-13
    4———2———–6.5——–13
    5———1.5———7———-10.5
    Total Value: 72.5

    So it’s an overpay, whatever that means. However, it is partially explainable by:

    1. Pence probably has a better opportunity to stick in the OF than Swisher over the course of the deal. It’s tough to project Swisher to have the same value at 1B than he would in the OF, just because replacement level is so high for 1B.

    2. Different offseasons have different textures. I know we pretend that they’re all the same because we can make generalizations about them. But really, they are different with different buyers and different teams with different wallets and needs. Swisher’s deal is fairly explainable through this lens. In fact, this happens more than we think. Someone mentioned Beltre and that’s a good example of what might have been available to Swisher last year–take a 1 year deal and try the market the following year.

    Having said all that…if I’m Swisher today, I’m upset with my agent.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. attgig says:

    I also think that comparing park adjusted numbers would add to the discussion. Swish’s walk year in Yankee stadium vs Pence’s numbers in candle… att… pacbell?… whatever the park is in sf… has to differentiate the numbers a bit more.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. nolan says:

    I know this is always dismissed on this site, but Pence is widely known as a clubhouse leader and an emotional sparkplug that ignited their rally back from 0-2 against the Reds in last year’s NLDS. Check out the ESPN article. His teammates are thrilled and have nothing but good things to say about him. The Giants chose to retain his services at a good rate as opposed to dealing with all the negativity and uncertainty of free agency. They can afford it, and he should be a quality player moving forward, even if the $$/WAR ratio is less than ideal.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Richie says:

      Well, teammates always say good things when a teammate gets paid. Even when overpaid, in fact.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • DrBGiantsfan says:

        Other “intangibles” include his remarkable durability which is likely no accident. He keeps himself in tremendous shape which may directly impact his WAR scores at that back end of this contract.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Kevin says:

          Who cares about WAR. WAR is WARthless. The defensive metrics means nothing. He’s a good defender. A little awkward, but not better or worse than Swisher.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Bip says:

    It could be worse. It could be Andre Ethier.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Johnny Told You So says:

      I guess you haven’t checked recently, but Ethier has put up 23.2 WAR over the past 5 seasons with Pence putting up 14.1. Extrapolating Pence’s fielding and base running numbers isn’t appropriate. Pence’s 127 wRC+ is pretty inferior to Ethier’s 144 wRC+ and Ethier is regarded as a plus-plus defender by scouts compared to average or solid-average for Pence. I think this is a case where the defensive statistics aren’t accurate measuring their defense.

      I’d project Ethier with about 16-18 WAR over the next 5 seasons and Pence with 12-14.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. BurleighGrimes says:

    Does Choo make 100 million + then? If so, that’s crazy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Joe Veno says:

    I feel like they could hae Ellsbury for a few more dollars. He’s better than Pence. Of course, Ellsbury will involve a bidding war, while signing Pence before free agency will not. Still, this deal seems to high for my liking. I would have let him walk or tried to negotiate fewer years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Ruki Motomiya says:

    Doesn’t seem like too bad of a deal. Pence needs to average 3.6 WAR over the next 5 years to break even, so while this might end up a slight overpay, it seems like it’ll be fine if…say…Pence puts up 1-2 years of 4+, 2 years of 3~ and a year of 2-1, which fits in fine with a .5 to 1 WAR degradation…and at 30, Pence is young enough we might not see huge drop off.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Snowman says:

    If we’re a bit kind and take an average of 2011 and 2013, the best two years of his career, we get 4.8 WAR. If he can do that next year at 31, then drop 0.5 each year, you get 19 WAR, in which case he’s worth about $5 million more than the deal.

    With the usual caveats that not every player ages the same and the understanding that a half a win a year is just an estimate of the average, I still have some pretty serious doubts that he will be worth the average of his two best career years at the age of 31, and so on down the line from there. I’d lay the odds much higher on this deal being a mistake by the third year than I would on it being a good signing.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. Dan Greer says:

    Well, this projects to be a weak free-agent market, and they obviously know the guy well and like him. Also, they won’t be paying Zito any more money, so this still isn’t a net loss in terms of dollars spent. I figure they’ll be in the mix for buy-low flyball guys like Phil Hughes to pad the rotation depth (which is a pretty big team weakness). He can probably approximate Lincecum’s production for far less money, and maybe they’d be in on a Scott Feldman too (even though he projects to get a decent raise and a multi-year deal).

    Basically SF can afford a risky contract like this one given that Pence probably won’t fall off a cliff for a few years, and they will be freeing up a lot of money elsewhere. I still think they overpaid, but if they plan to contend for the next 2-3 years (and I think they do, and should), it really does make some sense.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Shoewizard says:

    18 million for a 3 war player on the wrong side of 30′ for 5 years = the cost of trying to keep up with the dodgers

    Ugly

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ruki Motomiya says:

      Pence is really more of a 3.5-4.0 WAR player.

      He’ll probably cover most/all of this contract, unless he disastrously plummets or has a big injury.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. jdbolick says:

    I don’t think this happens if Gary Brown doesn’t flame out as a prospect.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dirck says:

      Right JD . I was thinking that having zero hitters coming up in their system added to the fact that they could very likely get shut out on the decent free agent outfielders made the Giants overpay a bit to keep a solid piece of their team. On a scale of 100 ,I would probably give this deal a 65-70 .

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zero? Posey is a pretty good hitter to come up through the system, Sandoval too. And Belt has been developing pretty well in addition. And Crawford has been developing nicely as well, not a great hitter, but with his defense, good enough, can’t have stars at every position.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Well Bearded Vogon says:

        I heard rumors that Posey, Sandoval, and Belt are no longer coming up in the Giants’ system. I’m not sure where they’ve gone, but when I look around the web I don’t even see them coming up with any team. Where could these guys have gone? Wherever they are, I think that Dirck’s point about the Giants having no minor league hitters expected to make a near term impact on the MLB team stands.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Shankbone says:

          Giants don’t have a can’t miss prospect. They do however have several that are pretty interesting and getting to the upper minors. Andrew Susac (RHH Catcher) will be in Fresno next year, he was among the OPS leaders in the Eastern and young for the league. Mac Williamson (RHH RF) was among the league leaders in HRs in the California league, he gets the big test in AA Richmond. Angel Villalona will either continue at Richomnd or join Susac in Fresno. Lots of swing and miss, but huge power potential. And then there’s Brown and Panik, they’ll be in Fresno as well. Brown’s problems are well known, but he is an elite defender in CF. Panik has elite contact skills and is young for the league. That’s five guys who have a shot, all in the upper minors.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dirck says:

        Obsessive would seem to be an appropriate name . I didn’t say they Giants have HAD ( as in past tense ) zero hitters coming through their system . I said they don’t HAVE ( meaning currently ) any hitters COMING UP through their system .Reading is fundamental .

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Graham says:

    In a vacuum, this will likely be an overpay. But I think Pence probably would’ve fetched something near this, if not more, on the market this year. It’s a very weak free agent class, particularly in terms of RH power. I hate the idea of the Giants bidding against themselves, but this is about what I think the Phillies would’ve paid for him. Also, I’m kind of stunned by the defensive numbers quoted in the article. Pence has been an above-average right fielder since coming to the Giants — certainly not the galoot that -22.8 makes him out to be.

    I’d also like to add that Pence’s durability over his career has been remarkable. It’s one thing to play through injuries at 80% just to stay in the lineup; but Pence never seems to drag or play at anything but full speed, every day. The guy’s a physical marvel. He claimed he was faster this year than in previous years, which is nuts for a 30-year old. I’m okay with this deal based on what I think he would’ve cost on the open market, and because he’s unusually athletic and durable, and thus has a better chance of beating the typical aging curve.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. DrBGiantsfan says:

    So, what did Swisher do when he got into a neutral park? Yeah, .244/.340/.415 and oh yeah, his “park-adjusted” wRC+ took a 15 point hit too.

    I’m pretty sure the “park adjustment” in wRC+ does not account for L-R splits and the fact that Swisher hit mostly LH in a Yankee Stadium with a ridiculously short RF porch. Try translating THAT to AT&T Park!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BookWorm says:

      Pretty sure you already made this argument in this comments section. Duplicate comments (on an article that has 100+ comments) make it difficult to engage with other readers.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Spit Ball says:

    Ellsbury licks his chops.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DrBGiantsfan says:

      Yeah, for a guy who has averaged less than 100 games played over the last 4 seasons. Nice!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jim09 says:

        Why do you keep beating that drum? Ellsbury is younger than Pence, is much, much better on the bases and in the field and the difference in their bats isn’t even that large. A career .353 wOBA versus a .345

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Ruki Motomiya says:

          Do you expect Ellsbury to hit 2011-level HRs again? Because that inflates his value a fair deal.

          Ellsbury has been worth more WAR, but he has also played less, and with the injury history, it is perfectly justifable to be more worried about his ability to play in the future, since injures can very much affect the body and it’s ability to both maintain current level and how it wil ldegrade in the future.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • @Ruki says:

          You need to accept that the only two significant injuries he’s ever suffered were from colliding with Adrian Beltre in the OF and having a Tampa Bay Ray fall on him a stolen base attempt. Those are not the type of injuries that justify implying a player is injury prone

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • james wilson says:

          “You need to accept that the only two significant injuries he’s ever suffered were from colliding with Adrian Beltre in the OF and having a Tampa Bay Ray fall on him a stolen base attempt. Those are not the type of injuries that justify implying a player is injury prone”

          False analogy. There are many players who take a beating and are not injured. Like Beltre, who was not injured in that collision, or any others. Like Damon, who left his brain casing on the Fenway centerfield in a collision and didn’t miss a game. Ellsbury is injury prone. Very.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Fastpiece says:

    sixPence none the richer

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. confused says:

    All this talk about WAR as fact, the Swisher WAR is based on Pence being -22.8 vs Swish at -8 defensively. Several posters consider him average with a plus arm, so if you make him 0 he should have provided more value. Do the SF CF’s get above-average defensive numbers due to taking the gap balls from him?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • cthabeerman says:

      Most of the negative value stems from the positional adjustment rather than UZR. You can’t just negate the fact that he plays a corner OF spot.

      Also, since when can you just make a guy neutral value because you’d like?? The Braves would love Dan Uggla to be a neutral value defensive 2B, but even placing him next to a generational talent and a scooping vacuum hasn’t done the trick.

      -C

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Ruki Motomiya says:

    You know, unrelatedly, something I’ve wondered: Do defensive metrics take into account the different kinds of parks? Does patrolling the short porch in Yankees Stadium give the same score as, say, a larger park, or do they get penalized for the smaller area giving them a smaller space to work in?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DrBGiantsfan says:

      I believe there is evidence that LF in Fenway hurts a LF UZR significantly. It’s probably because a rangy player has less time and less room to chase down balls.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ruki Motomiya says:

        I’m more wondering if UZR and stuff actually take note of it and adjust or if just players get hurt by it.

        If they just get hurt…I wonder if some kind of, I dunno, UZR+ could be made to adjust for park effects.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Hurtlockertwo says:

    I like the deal, but It’s not my money. Pence has been good for the Giants, I fully expect the Giants to turn it around next year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. StatsNut says:

    Is the MLB turning into the NBA? I see average to slightly above average players getting huge contracts (Pence is clearly above average, but look at the rest of the Giants payroll over the last 5 years as well as other teams around the league). In my dreamworld MLB starts encouraging lower ticket/merchandise pricing…than I woke up. Fans keep getting screwed.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. When you do a more thorough examination, perhaps you can bring up the two players whose contracts were brought up as comparables that reportedly Pence’s agents were using, Ethier and Werth. I would like to see how they compare, plus the rumors are swirling that Shin Choo Hoo’s agent, Boras, is starting at 5 years and $100M, so that would be an interesting comparison as well.

    And Pence has had better peak years than Swisher ever had, plus more recently, and more importantly, he did it while playing for the Giants, which usually is considered to be a park that depresses offensive production, and thus why the Giants might pay more.

    That said, it does seem like an overpay compared to Swisher, but seems to be in the ballpark compared Ethier, Werth, and Shin-Soo Choo, so is Pence overpaid or was Swisher underpaid?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Rick says:

      I think the only necessary examination would be to determine what Pence would have been paid elsewhere. Granted, the Giants wanted to retain Pence, so they would most likely have to pay him more than anyone else; but do they have to pay $25 million more than anyone else (similar to how they handled Zito and other contracts in the past)?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Joel says:

    I always thought Pence reminded me of one player…..Aaron Rowand. Plays real hard, good defense, fan favorite (Rowand was in Chicago). As long as Pence avoids the cliff Rowand fell off he should be fine.

    Nothing wrong with a team doing a slight over pay for a fan favorite who plays hard and produces.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. JohnMel says:

    It seems like a bit of an overpay but not a terrible overpay. Pence is still not too old where 5 years is not that bad considering the 8-10 year contracts that have been going around. I would suspect that they agreed to a much higher per year salary then create a 7 year type deal.

    Would you rather -
    Arod 4/86 + performance bonuses and lingering suspension

    Pence 5/90 = great chance to be an above average contributor.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Award Winner! says:

      And the early frontrunner for “Worst False Dichotomy of the Year” goes to:

      Arod 4/86 + performance bonuses and lingering suspension

      Pence 5/90 = great chance to be an above average contributor.

      Thanks to all who were nominated! Keep trying, it’s still early, there is still ample time for worse candidates to emerge.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *