Giants rumors: Hunter Pence wants long-term contract

Christian Petersen

The quirky outfielder would rather get an extension from San Francisco than test the free-agent market next fall.

The San Francisco Giants have spent most of the winter ensuring that most of the roster from last year's World Series champion squad -- plus a few from the 2010 team -- would return to the Bay Area for the 2013 season. Jeremy Affeldt, Angel Pagan, and Marco Scutaro all agreed to new, multi-year contracts over the offseason -- Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla were handed extensions as well -- and now outfielder Hunter Pence wants to be next in line.

The 29-year-old outfielder is supposed to hit the free-agent market following the 2013 season, but Pence would rather work out a long-term extension with the Giants, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN.

Pence avoided arbitration for the final time this winter, agreeing to a hefty $13.8 million contract with San Francisco for the season despite a down year in 2012.

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The odd-ball outfielder, who was acquired by the Giants at last year's trade deadline in exchange for Nate Schierholtz and a pair of prospects, has not hit well during his brief tenure in the Bay Area, but his 2013 salary indicates that the club still thinks very highly of him.

In his first five big-league seasons -- i.e. prior to 2012 -- Pence averaged 3.5 bWAR/season, so the Giants have pretty good reason to still have faith in him. The right fielder is a career .289/.339/.475 hitter with 138 home runs in six seasons with the Astros, Phillies, and Giants.

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