The Hunter Pence trade we reported earlier is now official: the Phillies outfielder was shipped to the Giants on Tuesday in advance of the 1:00 p.m. PT trade deadline.
In exchange, the Giants gave up catching prospect Tommy Joseph (as earlier noted), outfielder Nate Schierholtz and minor-league right-handed pitcher Seth Rosin.
Schierholtz, interestingly enough, recently backed off of trade demands he reportedly made earlier in the month. And even more interestingly, Schierholtz went b-a-n-a-n-a-s in Philly the last time the Giants, going 4-of-13 with two homers, a double and two walks in a three-game series.
Joseph was ranked by Baseball America as the second-best prospect in the Giants farm system before 2012. But the catch with Joseph is that he's blocked at catcher by Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez, and maybe/kind-of/not-really blocked at first base by Brandon Belt. Therefore, he became expendable for the Giants, and, since he's not Gary Brown, makes this a pretty good deal for the Giants.
Rosin is 6'6", 23-year-old right-handed pitcher who's posted a 4.31 ERA over 33.1 innings (five starts, 10 appearances) at Class-A Advanced. CSNBayArea.com's Giants Insider points out that Rosin isn't an elite prospect, but "could be a back-end guy" and "throws downhill."
With Pence added to the Giants outfield, Schierholtz became expendable: Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan (who hurt his hand Monday) and Gregor Blanco, along with Belt (if needed) and Aubrey Huff (if ever healthy) gives them sufficient depth to roam AT&T Park.
But how does it compare to the new-look Dodgers outfield? Well, bad news Giants fans.
The Dodgers added Shane Victorino on Tuesday from the Phillies (fire sale y'all!), which suddenly gives them a pretty stacked group of outfielders. Matt Kemp is an MVP candidate, Victorino's got a shot at bouncing back in a contract year playing for a contender, and Andre Ethier's having a solid season, with 11 home runs and 62 RBI through 92 games.
That's a pretty clear advantage over Melky Cabrera (an MVP candidate in his own right), Pence (solid season, potential bounceback with playoff contender although his power might flat-line) and ... Gregor Blanco + Angel Pagan. Those two guys have had a good year, but clearly the Giants total outfield is inferior to the Dodgers.
Here's the good news: outfields don't win baseball games by themselves! And, better news: the Giants clearly upgraded their offense and their outfield with the acquisition of Pence, while keeping pace with the Dodgers, who've been spending money faster than the Monopoly Man this off- and in-season.
Pence, according to MLB Network, was "very surprised" and "shocked" by the news of the trade. He might be able to get to San Francisco in time for Tuesday night's game, but it's probably a stretch.