Pence feels good about momentum over final month
Hunter Pence will make an average of $18 million a season under his new contract. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
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SAN FRANCISCO -- One more day? More like five whole years.
That’s how long the Giants tied themselves to Hunter Pence after the two sides agreed to terms on a five-year, $90 million contract on Saturday. The contract is pending a physical, which shouldn’t be an issue for the inspirational right fielder, who is in the lineup to start his 161st game of the season.
Just a day earlier, GM Brian Sabean described re-signing Pence as part of the “heavy lifting” that the front office wanted to complete in short order. They weren’t kidding. In a highly unorthodox scene, Pence and CEO Larry Baer engaged in direct negotiations in the clubhouse Friday night in direct presence of the media waiting to interview him.
[REWIND: Giants negotiations with Pence take unorthodox turn]
Pence said he sensed a deal could be imminent.
“They’re about to get back to me, seriously,” he said Friday night. “So we’re either really close or really far away.”
Turns out they were close.
Pence will be paid just more than Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, who signed a five-year, $85 million contract before hitting free agency. Pence would have been eligible for free agency in just a few weeks, five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Instead you can cross one more name off a lackluster list.
Details on the contract are still emerging, but don’t be surprised if it includes some type of no-trade provision and if the money is backloaded to allow the Giants more flexibility to rebuild the rest of the roster.
Pence’s deal matches the second richest the Giants have given to a position player, behind Buster Posey’s nine-year, $167 million extension. Oddly enough, the Giants and Barry Bonds signed a five-year, $90 million contract after the 2001 season.