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Pirates interested in Hunter Pence

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Ezra Shaw

The Pirates are interested in Hunter Pence, Jon Heyman reports, but it doesn't sound particularly likely that the Giants will trade him. They're 44-51, but since the NL West is so bad, they're only 5.5 games out of first. Also, Heyman notes that, even if they were out of playoff contention, they'd need to be "overwhelmed" to deal him.

The Giants' motivations are often unclear to me, but I don't understand why they'd need to be overwhelmed, since Pence is a free agent after the season. They might just be posturing. In any case, Pence is arguably better than Alex Rios or Nate Schierholtz, but he isn't a superstar -- his on-base percentage is lower than you'd like. He's not someone I would want the Pirates paying through the nose for, particularly since he's only a rental.