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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Pence to Return, Undecided on Wilson

Well, we were going to use today's post to go back and review what went on down on the farm in the Giants' organization, but the Giants are already making some moves towards shaping their 2013 roster.

Brian Sabean announced Thursday something that every Giants fan was expecting, stating that they will offer arbitration to right fielder Hunter Pence, ensuring he'll be in the orange and black for the 2013 season. There was never really any doubt as to whether or not Pence would be back after he helped spark the team's incredible run in October, but the Giants are hoping his personal production improves next season. Pence hit just .219 with a .671 OPS to go along with 7 HR's and 45 RBI in his 59 games with San Francisco, and struggled even more in the postseason. However, even though he wasn't as prudent with the stick as he'd have liked, he was one of the Giants most clutch hitters with runners in scoring position as evident by his high RBI total, and he also handled right field at AT&T Park exceptionally well. Perhaps the biggest attribute Pence provided though was his stability in the clubhouse. Not necessarily just the 'rah-rah' speeches he gave before those games in Cincinnati, but the example he set on the field with his hustle and all out play. If you look at the back of his baseball card, you see a guy who averages around .285, will hit 20+ homers and drive in 90+ runs, and I absolutely expect a bounce back to that effect out of Pence in '13.

Next up on the Giants arbitration to-do list is mercurial closer Brian Wilson, and this one could pose a much tougher decision than Pence. Wilson has been a face of this team for the last few seasons and was epic in their World Series run in 2010. Although he doesn't always do it it dominant fashion, he does sport one of the better save percentages in all of baseball. But there are two things that come into play with this one. First of all, Willy just went through his 2nd Tommy John procedure in less than a decade, and although he states he's starting to feel as strong as ever, it's really any ones guess as to what kind of shape he'll show up in next spring and when exactly he'd be able to take the ball again in a major league game. The other factor here is the way that Sergio Romo just took the bull by the horns and really staked his claim to the 9th inning down the stretch. Health aside, many close to the Giants believe Romo could have a leg up on Wilson at this point just because Romo seems to get through the 9th without as much drama as Wilson. The only issue with Romo is he doesn't really have that hard fastball he can rely on to blow by hitters on nights his slider isn't working right or when he's got a bunch of lefties lined up against him.

If I had to venture a guess at this point, I'd say the Giants may be leaning towards not offering Wilson his arbitration, but then possibly try to get him back on a one-year deal with some major incentives tied in. Not sure if Willy would be open to that, but I just have a hard time seeing the Giants guarantee a guy coming off that type of surgery upwards of $10 million for 2013, especially when they have a viable replacement already in house. I'd like to see him back and battling Romo for the ninth, but I can't say I expect it.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    The Giants wouldn't be the same without "The Beard". and their bullpen would be sick if they had Romo and Wilson at the end of games. I think they have to bring him back, but only if his arm isn't going to fall off.

    And just cause I never get tired of saying it...

    2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants!!!

  • At 2:31 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    The thing is J-Bill, Willy won't be ready to throw in a game until at least June, by most estimates. Since he only threw in 2 games this year, it'd basically be a 2 year layoff and who knows what you'd be getting? Is it really worth it to guarantee a guy like that $8-10M?

    I like Wilson as much as any Giant fan, but I just don't see it happening unless it's on a incentive heavy (in the games pitched dept.) 1-year deal.

  • At 10:10 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    I think that the Giants should look for another closer and not even count on Wilson coming back. If they want Romo to close, that is fine, but they will need to add another reliever regardless. If Wilson comes back on a one year deal and performs well, then that is just a bonus, but who knows what condition he will come back in, better to be prepared for the worse.

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