Reports conflict over Pence to Giants

No one would blame you if you were curled up in the fetal position on Sunday night after the Giants got run over by the Dodgers this weekend.

If you were, then you missed another big letdown.

Just before 10 p.m. on Sunday night, KPIX-TV’s Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell tweeted out breaking news that the Giants had a “deal in place” to acquire two-time All-Star Hunter Pence from the Phillies. The only player mentioned heading back to Philly was catching prospect Tommy Joseph:

This was HUGE news.

Pence, hitting .268 with 17 home runs through 100 games, would be big upgrade over Gregor Blanco and Nate Schierholtz, who have been splitting time in right field.

Blanco beat out Schierholtz for the job in the spring, but has come back down to earth, hitting .216 in June and July combined. Schiertholtz has played marginally better than Blanco over the same span, but he’s so streaky.

The other attractive aspect of Pence is that he’s arbitration-eligible for 2013, meaning the Giants would have control over him for next year. MLBTradeRumors projects that Pence is scheduled to make over $14 million next season.

Giants beat writers were retweeting the news and trying to verify it.

But just as soon as they could start calling sources, Giants Vice President of Baseball Operations Bobby Evans sent a text message to CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly denying the reporting:

And with that, O’Donnell’s report lost all momentum. An unusual source for Giants news, O’Donnell, was coming under fire.

Even after his initial report was shot down by the Giants VP, O’Donnell broadcast his report on Gameday at 11:30 p.m. The broadcast even contained a photoshopped image of Pence in a Giants hat.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Evans was just shooting down the report because details of the deal haven’t been finalized, or because players involved in the deal hadn’t be notified.

The Chronicle’s Henry Schulman made it clear that he has not heard any Pence-to-Giants is imminent.

CSN Philly Insider Jim Salisbury believes that the Phillies are ready to start selling off players and would be willing to trade Pence if a team meets their high price.

As if the shot-down Giants rumors weren’t bad enough, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is reporting the Dodgers have inquired about Pence.

The trade deadline is Tuesday at 1 p.m. PST, so Giants fans will have something to occupy them for the next 24 hours.