Philadelphia's bizarre on-again-off-again love affair with Hunter Pence may soon be coming to an end.
After Shane Victorino was the first Phillies player to be sent packing to the west coast on Tuesday afternoon, CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury is reporting that Hunter Pence could be next, with talks between the Phillies and Giants being described as "pretty hot."
UPDATE, 12:28 PM: Salisbury says, "Phils and Giants working on final details of Pence deal."
UPDATE 2, 12:31 PM: CBS Sports Jon Heyman says the deal is done. Will update with players.
[more updated below]
UPDATE 3, 12:35: Maybe not done, per CSNBaggs:
Pence is back! RT @csnbaggs From Giants VP Bobby Evans on reports Pence deal is done: "Not accurate. No deal. Working through many options"
— M̶i̶k̶e̶ ̶M̶e̶e̶c̶h̶ (@meechone) July 31, 2012
UPDATE 4, 12:44 PM: CBS Sports' Danny Knobler says the Phillies will get a 21-year-old catcher. Curious:
Tommy Joseph goes to Phils in Hunter Pence deal
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) July 31, 2012
UPDATE 5, 12:50 PM:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2012
Philadelphia fell in love with Pence in the run to the postseason in 2011, but his shaky outfield play an inability to fully become "The Man" with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in the outfield has caused some fans to go sour on him. He's been arguably the team's best producer this season, right up there with Carlos Ruiz. Pence leads the team with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs.
Pence is still under team control in 2013, with his arbitration number believed to be in the $14 million range.
As Sully also pointed out on Twitter, in trading Shane Victorino to the Dodgers, Ruben Amaro Jr. is pitting L.A. and San Fran against each other, perhaps motivating the Giants to get a little more aggressive for Pence. Only time will tell. Salisbury used the word "smartypants" to describe RAJ's tactics there.
If the Phillies do end up pulling the trigger, your 2013 outfield is going to have a whole lot of questions marks.