Staring down the long arm of Tal Smith, Hunter Pence signed a one-year deal worth $3.5m today (captip to Joe, who broke it in the comments section of a previous post - I had to make an emergency trip to Atlanta).
“I really think Hunter’s about to step off into a very significant portion of his career at this point in time. I think he’s going to take on a great leadership role on the club, and from a talent standpoint, I think he’s going to get better.”
Brian McTaggart has some more logic on why a long-term deal doesn't make sense for the Astros:
Long-term deals make sense when you can buy out years of free agency, but to do that for Pence at this point in his career you'd have to sign him to a six-year deal (four arbitration years and two free agent years). There's not much sense to that considering Pence won't be a free agent until after the 2013 season.
Totally agree. With arbitration, you're going to pay for what you got. You might not get what you pay for, but you're certainly not going to run the risk of giving a ton of money for not much return. I had Pence pegged at $4-5 million, so to get him for $3.5 million is great for both the Astros and for Hunter Pence, who gets a nice little $3 million raise. Maybe he'll be able to move out of that duplex in Pasadena.