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Top Moment #9: Addition of Hunter Pence

Photo: Philly.com (Ben Margot/AP)

July is a crazy month for baseball.  With the trade deadline at the end of the month, hundreds of rumors and potential trade scenarios are revealed.  With all the transactions and rumors, the end of July is sure to spark a lot of debate.

Jayson Werth signed with the Washington Nationals in the 2010-2011 offseason, leaving a gap in right field for the Phillies.  Ruben Amaro didn’t fill the void, giving Ben Francisco and Domonic Brown an opportunity.  However, it wasn’t enough as the Phillies were struggling to produce runs.

In result, the Phillies were in need of a right-handed bat and names like Hunter Pence and Carlos Beltran came into the conversation.  Initially, it seemed unlikely that the Phillies would land Pence.  As rumors developed, it was believed that the Phillies would need to trade Domonic Brown or Vance Worely in order to obtain Pence.

I remember sitting in the 200-level of Citizens Bank Park on July 29 watching the Phillies beat the Pirates.  Following trade rumors on Twitter, everyone in the section speculated that the Phillies made a move.  After the final out of the game, 45,000 remained anticipating the fireworks show.  Dan Baker came on the loud speaker and made the announcement: “The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired HUNTER PENCE from the Houston Astros!”  The crowd erupted in excitement of the new right fielder.

In a somewhat surprising move, the Phillies acquired Pence (and a million dollars) in exchange for Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zied, and a player to be named later.  The Phillies gave up two of their top prospects, but were able to hang onto Brown and Worely.

After the addition of Pence, Phillies Nation commenter Chuck A wrote, “Pence reminds me of Utley, Lenny Dykstra, Ty Cobb and Pete Rose all rolled into one. Philly is gonna fall in love with guy fast.”

It will be interesting to see how the prospects the Phillies gave up will pan out, but Pence didn’t disappoint, as Michael Baumann explained in his analaysis of Pence’s 2011 season.  He batted .324 with 11 home runs and a .954 OPS in 54 games with the Phillies.

The development of the trade rumors and the addition of Pence was certainly something to remember in 2011.

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