Saturday, February 6, 2016

Pence didn't see deal to Giants coming

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Hunter Pence said his goodbyes inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park exactly 367 days after saying hello at Citizens Bank Park.

Pence didn't see deal to Giants coming

The Phillies traded Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
The Phillies traded Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Hunter Pence said his goodbyes inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park exactly 367 days after saying hello at Citizens Bank Park.

The circumstances of the departure and arrival could not have been any more different.

When Pence arrived in Philadelphia from Houston last year at the trade deadline, he was supposedly the missing piece for the team with the best record in baseball.

As he departed for the San Francisco Giants Tuesday afternoon, he was a player who had become too expensive and inconsistent to keep. The Phillies acquired outfielder Nate Schierholtz and minor-league prospects Tommy Joseph, a catcher, and Seth Rosin, a righthanded pitcher, from the Giants.

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Pence admitted to being shocked by both the trade and the Phillies' 2012 demise that has led to a flurry of deals by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. at the deadline.

"Very surprising," Pence said with a glazed look in his eyes. "I don't think anyone anticipated the season that has gone on this year. It was a perfect storm of injuries and things that didn't go right for us. That's the business of the game and you have to understand that. We had a great run and now I've been sent on."

Unlike a year ago when he was with the Astros, Pence did not see this deal coming.

"Not until it happened because I honestly this year didn't pay any attention to any of that," he said. "I didn't really hear rumors. I talked to the media maybe one time, so really it just kind of happened, so I'm on to play for San Fran and hopefully in a playoff race."

Pence is in a playoff race again. The Phillies, meanwhile, were in their final race of the season and it was a sprint to see how much money they could get off the books before the 4 p.m. deadline.

Despite his brief time in Philadelphia, Pence said he grew to love playing for the Phillies.

"I had nothing but great memories here in Philadelphia," he said. "I am nothing but thankful for the opportunity to play -- unbelievable teammates and really the organization is a class act all the way from the top down. The fans made it an absolute blast to play for, so it was a great experience."


Inquirer Columnist
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