Oh, is it time for Bryce Harper-to-the-Yankees speculation already?

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You knew this was coming eventually. And really, I ain’t even mad. Because this is so obviously calculated to troll people as opposed to being that classic “the Yankees must obtain every good player ever” kind of chatter that annoys us so that this works better as parody than it does as any sort of analysis:

By November, 2018, The Decision could be in the hands of Bryce Aron Max Harper. At that time, Harper will just have turned 26 … and he may be the undisputed king of baseball.  The Yankees will no longer have the contracts of Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter or Mark Teixeira. There will likely be new big names with big deals that take their place, but surely they will find enough money to pay Harper, if he wants to come … It might even be inevitable.

Next up: copy and paste it with Mike Trout.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.