Per a report from Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Tampa Bay Rays have inquired about Texas Rangers outfielder, Hunter Pence.
After struggling to find a job this past winter, the 36 year old veteran outfielder is having a resurgence with the Rangers this season. His career had been spiraling downward the past couple of seasons, culminating in a particularly bad 2018 campaign with the San Francisco Giants in which he accrued -0.9 fWAR and a 59 wRC+ over 97 games.
During the offseason, Pence spent several weeks playing in the Dominican Republic as he worked to revamp his swing and mental approach to the game. The changes obviously worked for Pence, who signed a minor league deal with the Rangers in February.
Over 60 games this season, Pence is hitting .290/.349/.581 with 15 HR over 232 plate appearances, accruing a total of 1.5 fWAR. Defensively, Pence will not be much of a contributor, having put up -5 DRS in the outfield. However, with the Rays defensive prowess, he likely wouldn’t see any time outside of the DH role.
The main propellant to his game that would make the Rays a better team is his ability to hit left-handed pitching, to the tune of 155 wRC+ in 2019.
The trade deadline is fast approaching with just over a week left until the last trade of the 2019 season can be made and the Rays are expected to be very active on the market.