We are getting close to the point in time when we should ignore any and all stories about player availability, because there will inevitably be smoke-blowing and gamesmanship through the press going on in the next few weeks.
However, I feel I must bring these many reports about Hunter Pence to the site's attention. First of all, Ken Rosenthal brings up the fact that Pence wouldn't be a great fit in the Braves outfield, since Atlanta wants to move Jason Heyward back to right and Martin Prado back to left field once Chipper Jones gets well. Rosenthal doesn't say the Braves aren't interested in Pence, just that he wouldn't be their first choice. It's a small but important distinction.
Pence may be the best position player on the market, at least according to Anthony Witrado. He's got a more well-rounded game, being good defensively, having good power and hitting for a good average. I'm not sure whether Michael Bourn isn't a better overall player, but to believe that, you have to trust that Pence's power is outweighed by Bourn's brilliance in center field and on the base paths. Finally, we get a small note from Jon Paul Morosi that Jim Crane will not veto a deal involving Hunter Pence based on principle.
Nothing substantial about Hunter, but any news is worthwhile in these heady trading days. I predicted that at least two players will get dealt and Houston's already made one move, 10 days before the deadline.