SAN FRANCISCO -- It was a scene that stunned reporters and many of the players nearby. After Friday night's game, right fielder Hunter Pence and team president Larry Baer stood in the middle of the home clubhouse at AT&T Park and talked for about 15 minutes.
"We were talking about the "Willie Mac" Award and how much it meant to me," Pence said Sunday, smiling.
Regardless of how the process played out, the fact remains, the Giants and Pence agreed to a 5-year, $90 million deal shortly after that conversation. Both sides said there was a sense of urgency as the days went by. The Giants did not intend on letting Pence walk into the offseason without a new deal, and the two sides negotiated for the past month.
"We had a goal," Pence said. "They told me they wanted to get it done so they could present it before the end of the season. I wanted the same thing."
For the Giants, the deal is about more than just appeasing fans after a disappointing year. Management was trying to send a message to the clubhouse, too.
"This was a very top priority for the organization," Baer said. "He's been truly a model for the way you conduct yourself on the field and also the way he conducted himself off the field. When you sign a deal of this length, you want to check that box off. Hunter does that as well as anybody."
Pence received a full no-trade clause, and the player nicknamed Full Throttle doesn't plan on pulling back over the next five seasons. He lit up Sunday morning when told that he would become the first San Francisco Giant to start 162 games. Then he had a question.
"Do you think Boch will let me play all nine innings today?" Pence asked, referring to Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
Later, Pence said he remains as hungry as ever.
"I understand the responsibility that comes with five years," he said. "It's a pretty big investment. It's not going to be taken lightly. I'm extra motivated. Don't think there's going to be any part of me that's going to be stagnant. I want to become a better ballplayer."
Bochy is confident the Giants will get their money's worth.
"I don't know how we could have replaced what Hunter does on and off the field," Bochy said. "He's a manager's dream. The best compliment I could give him is that if I had a kid and he came out to see a game, I'd tell him to watch Hunter. I'll be honest, I may not have him watch Hunter throw or his on-deck swing -- just the way he plays the game."