Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

September 29, 2013
Giants formalize Pence deal, turn attention to Lincecum

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants officially announced Hunter Pence's five-year deal at a news conference this morning at AT&T Park prior to the last game of the season. Pence is in the starting lineup for the 162nd time this year -- he'll become the first Giants player since Alvin Dark in 1954 to start every game of the regular season.

This morning, though, was about a different number -- five, which will keep Pence in a Giants uniform through 2018. Various news outlets have reported the deal is for $90 million.

"It's safe to say I'm extremely excited," Pence said. "This is an enormous day, I waited a long time to have an opportunity to choose where I wanted to sign.

"There were a lot of things that came into this decision to get this done before going into free agency, and I think a big part of that, number one, is I realize how brilliant this organization is. I know they're here to win. At the end of the day fans want to see us win, we play this game as competitors to win and I think there's a hunger here, a confidence and a championship mentality.

"When I signed this deal I signed it as a player that's here to win. That being said, I understand the responsibility of what comes along with five years. It's a pretty big investment, and it's not going to be taken lightly by me."

Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans said the two sides had been in talks for the last month on a deal to keep Pence with the Giants. The Giants announced they'd agreed to terms on a deal Saturday, pending a physical, which Pence passed. A priority was put on getting a deal done before the season ended, Pence hit free agency and the Giants went their separate ways for the offseason.

"A player I think shows his commitment to this organization, this fan base and this city by making this decision now versus allowing the market to develop and see where it takes him," Evans said. "He could've very well chosen to do that."

Evans said the Giants' focus now turns to Tim Lincecum, to whose representatives Evans said the Giants have already reached out. Lincecum will also be a free agent and has said he's "trying to be open-minded" about where he will pitch next season.

"We've begun those discussions and hopefully there's an opportunity to bring Timmy back in short order," Evans said. "That's our goal. We don't intend to wait. If Timmy's willing to work with us right now, we'd like to do that. And that's the impression that I'm getting is that they'd like to work with us."

As for bringing back Pence, manager Bruce Bochy said he "couldn't be more thrilled" with the move, calling Pence "a manager's dream."

"I think the best compliment I can give you, Hunter, is if I had a kid and he came out to watch a game I would say, 'Watch Hunter Pence, watch how he plays the game, the passion that he plays with,'" Bochy said. "I may not have him watch you throw or your on-deck swings. But just talking about the way he plays the game."

Here's the full Giants lineup for Game 162, as this season comes to a close:

CF Blanco
2B Abreu
1B Belt
C Posey
RF Pence
3B Sandoval
SS Crawford
LF Perez
P Moscoso

And the Padres' lineup against Moscoso:

CF Denorfia
LF Guzman
2B Gyorko
3B Headley
1B Medica
RF Kotsay
C Hundley
SS Amarista
P Ross

* One other mark Pence could shoot for today -- he has 11 home runs in September, which is tied for the second-most in the month of September in Giants history. Barry Bonds holds the record with 12 in 2001.

* It's not much, but the Giants and Padres are playing for third place today. If the Giants win, the teams will finish with identical records, and the Giants have already won the season series. In fact, the Giants have gone 43-32 inside the division this year, the best record of all N.L. West teams. They went 32-54 against everyone else.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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