End of an era: Giants designate Hunter Pence for assignment

Chris Cwik
·2 mins read

The San Francisco Giants are parting ways with a fan favorite Sunday. After making a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Giants designated veteran Hunter Pence for assignment.

Pence, 37, will be placed on waivers following the move. If no team picks him up or trades for him, Pence will either be released or sent to the team’s alternate site. In 56 plate appearances, Pence is hitting just .096/.161/.250.

The team made the move after acquiring infielder Daniel Robertson from the Rays. That, combined with Sam Coonrod being reinstated from the 10-day Injured List, resulted in Pence being designated for assignment.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Pence handled the news with “a lot of gratitude.”

Hunter Pence is a fan favorite in San Francisco

While Pence has struggled in 2020, he’s been a major contributor to the Giants in the past. Pence was acquired by the team at the trade deadline in 2012, and won two championships with the Giants. During his tenure in San Francisco, Pence hit .265/.322/.429, with 95 home runs.

Pence endeared himself to Giants fans after embracing trolling from opposing fans who made signs claiming Pence couldn’t parallel park and didn’t like bacon. Giants fans came to Pence’s defense, countering those good-natured trolls with positive Pence signs.

Pence even shared a few signs of his own, poking fun at the meme.

Is this the end of the road for Hunter Pence?

Given Pence’s age and struggles this season, the DFA could mark the end of Pence’s career. If this is it for Pence, the 14-year veteran accomplished quite a bit in the majors. On top of winning two World Series championships, Pence made the All-Star team four times in his career.

Though this season has been rough, Pence looked rejuvenated last year. Pence hit .297/.358/.552 over 83 games with the Texas Rangers in 2019. He spent the previous offseason completely reworking his swing, and it seemed to pay off in a big way.

If Pence can recapture that magic, he could still be a useful player for a team down the stretch in 2020. If not, Pence could have a tough time catching on with another club when he hits the free agent market following the 2020 season.

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