The San Francisco Giants have agreed to five-year, $90 million contract extension with impending free agent Hunter Pence, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported that the sides were close to agreeing on the deal, which is pending a physical and will be announced on Sunday. The contract also includes a full no-trade clause with no restrictions, according to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Pence was seen having contract discussions with Giants' managing partner Larry Baer on Friday night in the Giants' clubhouse, and later confirmed to reporters that the sides were in serious negotiations. The 30-year old has long-expressed his desire to return to San Francisco, where he helped the Giants win a World Series title in 2012.
In 160 games on the season, Pence has posted a .282 batting average with 26 HR and 94 RBI while playing stellar defense in right field and stealing 22 bases. He drew considerable interest from teams like the Yankees, Reds, Rangers and Giants and Pirates in advance of the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, but the Giants decided to hold onto him in hopes of locking him up with a long-term deal before the end of the season.
In seven major league seasons with the Astros (2007-2011), Phillies (2011-2012) and Giants (2012-2013), Pence is a lifetime .285 hitter with 164 HR and 610 RBI. He has been named to the National League All-Star team twice (2009, 2011) and was likely to be one of the most coveted outfielders on this winter's free agent market, along with Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury. Pence's average annual value of $18 million likely means that Choo and Ellsbury will receive nine-figure deals this winter.
With Pence locked up, the Giants will turn their attention to re-signing pitchers Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez, who are both slated to be free agents. The team has shown consistent interest in bringing Lopez back to fill his spot in the bullpen, but Lincecum's future with the team remains up in the air.