Giants designate Pence for assignment, get Rays’ Robertson

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants cut ties with outfielder Hunter Pence on Sunday, ending a second stint with the fan favorite that didn’t go nearly as well as his first.

Pence, 37, was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for utility man Daniel Robertson, who was acquired earlier in the day from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash or a player to be named later.

Pence was a fiery emotional leader for the Giants from 2012-2018, helping anchor teams that won the World Series in 2012 and 2014.

After making the All-Star team with Texas last season, he returned to San Francisco in February on a one-year, $3 million contract but hit just .096 with two homers and six RBI in 17 games.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he simply needs to get more looks at younger players who might be a part of the team’s long-term outlook.

“Perhaps the most difficult part of this job is telling a meaningful member of the Giant family that he’s not going to be on our roster going forward,” Kapler said. “It was a very difficult conversation last night. Hunter meant so much to this team and this community.”

Robertson will report to the Giants’ alternate training site in Sacramento. The team also reinstated reliever Sam Coonrod from the 10-day injured list.