Hunter Pence will celebrate his one-year anniversary as a Philadelphia Phillie on Sunday. He hopes to be doing it in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.
With a week remaining until next Tuesday's MLB trade deadline, rumors are running rampant; the Marlins, who dealt Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante on Monday, are rumored to be moving long-time, franchise pieces Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez, too.
For any All-Star caliber player on a sub.-500 team, it probably shouldn't be surprising to hear your name come up in a trade rumor during the last two weeks of July.
But Hunter Pence was visibly taken aback when told he was Tuesday's rumor de jour, courtesy of Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com
is the first day I’ve heard of any rumors," Pence said. "Are there rumors? I don’t even know."
Despite going 6-4 since the All-Star break, the Phillies remain in last place in the NL East, 14 games behind the Washington Nationals. They are actively trying to re-sign Cole Hamels to a long-term deal.
By moving Pence, they could free up salary. Pence is under club control through the 2013 season; he made $10.4 million is arbitration this season and would figure to be closer to $15 million next year.
Phillies management does not comment on trade rumors. Although he has no say in the matter, Pence made it clear he doesn't want to go anywhere.
I’m happy to be here, I’m focused on winning," said Pence, who arrived in a pre-trade deadline deal from the Houston Astros on July 29, 2011. "Last night we had an amazing win.
I have great teammates here, it’s a great organization. I love Philly and I
love playing here. I’m going to enjoy it, go out there and play to win.
"(Trade rumors) are just a part of the job, you
know. That’s out of my hands; what’s in my hands is going out there and playing
baseball for the Phillies. Like I said, I love being here. I love the fans, the
team, the organization -- that’s all I really have."