Less than an hour after officially announcing the Shane Victorino trade the Philadelphia Phillies continued dismantling their outfield by completing a second trade, sending right fielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants. In return they’ll receive outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catcher/first baseman Tommy Joseph, and right-hander Seth Rosin.
Pence was Philadelphia’s big deadline acquisition last summer and he cost them a big price, notably top prospects Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton. Pence was supposed to be that missing piece that would help the Phillies get back to the World Series last year, but the team ultimately fell in the NLCS and has disappointed as a whole this season. Pence is batting just .271/.336/.447 in 440 plate appearances this year, a dropoff from his .290/.342/.481 career line. He’ll likely step right into the heart of the Giants lineup, however, and helps them remain in the hunt with the Dodgers for the NL West title.
Pence is also under team control for next year. It’s been projected that he could be in line for a contract in excess of $14 Million this winter through arbitration.
Recent reports suggested that Schierholtz had requested a trade from the Giants, given his lack of playing time, but those accounts have been disputed. Regardless, he’ll get a fresh start in Philadelphia where he’ll presumably figure into the outfield mix for the remainder of the season. Schierholtz is hitting .257/.327/.429 in 196 plate appearances on the year.
Joseph has hit .260/.313/.391 in 330 plate appearances this year at Double-A. Some have questioned whether he’ll be able to remain behind the plate while others have suggested that he could potentially replace Carlos Ruiz should he leave via free agency after the 2013 season, so the reports on him are mixed to say the least. Rosin, meanwhile, has pitched to a 4.31 ERA over 56.1 innings at Class-A on the year.
With Pence’s departure pending, there were reports this morning that the Phillies had pulled Domonic Brown from the lineup at Triple-A, suggesting that he might be on his way to Washington to join the team for tonight’s game against the Nationals. Brown’s been a major disappointment in his career to date, but with today’s deals he’ll likely get the rest of the season to prove that he’s able to handle holding down one of the team’s corner outfield spots. Brown’s going to be under intense scrutiny by the Phillies faithful over the next two months but it’s finally time for both sides to see if that relationship is going to work.