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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, Cliff Lee, and Juan Pierre’s names have all been mentioned recently as players who could be traded if the Phillies decide to “sell.” Add Hunter Pence’s name to the list.
The Phillies continue to signal to clubs that they are eager to move right fielder Hunter Pence, who could earn $13 million to $14 million next season in his final year of arbitration.
Pence, 29, is batting .268 with a .789 OPS, 17 homers and 57 RBI. His value could be enhanced by the signings of the San Diego Padres’ Carlos Quentin and Toronto Blue Jays’ Edwin Encarnacion and their respective removals from the trade market. But few teams are willing to assume high salaries and part with significant prospects.
Pence could be more valuable than someone like Victorino or Pierre because of his age, his contract status, and his production, which means you’d receive more in return for him. The problem with this scenario is that it creates yet another hole for the team in 2013. It’ll be enough work to fill center field, left field, third base, middle relief and potentially another starting pitcher without adding right field to that list.