Report: Reds inquired about the availability of Hunter Pence

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CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Reds have inquired about the availability of Giants’ outfielder Hunter Pence. Nothing appears to be imminent, as Heyman writes that the two sides don’t “look like a match so far.”

Heyman writes that the Reds are on the lookout for a right-handed bat, so Pence would fit the bill there, but the Reds would have a bit of a logjam in their outfield when Ryan Ludwick returns from his minor league rehab assignment. Still, he’s far from a sure thing to be productive immediately following shoulder surgery.

Heyman reported earlier today that the Giants plan to make a qualifying offer to Pence before he hits free agency this winter, so the asking price in trades figures to be significant. Still, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears that the defending World Series champions are willing to entertain offers on their veteran players.

The Giants are considering Pablo Sandoval at second base

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Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.

It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.

Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.