Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the Yankees checked in on Giants outfielder Hunter Pence before trading for Alfonso Soriano. Despite being eight games out of the NL West, the Giants have not shown that they intend to be sellers as the 2013 deadline draws near. New York was told that Pence was unavailable at this time.
The right-handed outfielder has a .278/.320/.458 batting line and a 118 wRC+ in 101 games for San Francisco this season. Pence has slugged 14 home runs and stolen 14 bases on the year, as well. The Giants and Pence agreed to terms on a $13.8 million salary this season in his final year of arbitration eligibility, which would have allowed the Yankees to acquire him solely for the rest of 2013. It's possible that the Giants will decide they are sellers before the deadline comes and goes and a deal can be done with the Yankees, but that seems unlikely.
Acquiring Soriano from the Cubs was a step forward for the Yankees to boost their incredibly weak offense, but it shouldn't be seen as the final step. One piece is not enough to get them over the hump. More moves are needed if they hope to stay afloat in the race for a playoff spot. The Yankees also previously checked in on White Sox outfielder Alex Rios. Now that they have acquired Soriano, though, it might be best to look away from the outfield and focus on the corner infield spots that need a boost of offense.
Should the Yankees be persistent in their pursuit of Pence, or should they look to trading for someone that plays another position of need?