Buried near the bottom of Ken Rosenthal’s latest column on FOXSports.com is this tidbit: “The Phillies continue to signal to clubs that they are eager to move right fielder Hunter Pence.”
Philadelphia traded prospects Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and Domingo Santana to get Pence from Houston at last year’s trade deadline and he’s played well since then, hitting .288 with 28 homers and an .848 OPS in 150 games.
He also has just one season of team control remaining and figures to earn at least $12 million in 2013 via arbitration, so Pence certainly isn’t going to be a bargain at age 30. Would the Phillies be willing to take significantly less than they gave up to get Pence in order to save that money, add a prospect or two, and clear right field for Domonic Brown?
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.