Enigmatic Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar recently went on the disabled list with a rather severe injury. However, this unexpected development probably didn’t hurt his trade value very much.
We’ve all seen the spectacularly exhilarating diving catches routinely made by Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar. A staple in the Jays outfield, Pillar has dazzled us with his outstanding defense since arriving at the big league level.
On Sunday, however, Jays fans held their collective breath as Pillar was taken out of the game following what appeared to be a freak shoulder injury. After examination, it was found that Pillar had sprained his sternoclavicular joint and would be on the disabled list for at least four weeks.
Fortunately for Pillar, this near life-threatening injury likely won’t hurt his trade value at all, because in all honesty, his trade value is of little importance. Despite the angry mob of fans demanding his exodus due to poor offensive performance, the Jays were never really serious about trading their center fielder.
Most notably, and perhaps most obviously, it’s no secret that this front office is not the type that’s willing to trade long-term assets, which, despite an extreme sense of familiarity in this city, is what Pillar is. The former Cleveland Indians brain trust were conservative with their assets and preferred not to deal players that were under team control for several years beyond the present.
It’s also interesting to note that while Pillar’s name was thrown around by fans and writers alike as a player who could have possibly been dealt at the deadline, no concrete evidence was ever brought forward that the Jays intended to deal Pillar.
Don’t get me wrong, the case for trading Kevin Pillar is both logical and intriguing, my friend Chris Henderson wrote a very compelling and brilliantly insightful article on the topic here, but it just didn’t seem as though the team was thinking along with us with regards to this particular topic.
There’s also the matter of what Pillar’s initial trade value was, even before the injury. While some might argue that his defensive versatility and occasional offensive promise make him valuable in a potential deal, his overall numbers seem to refute that quite a bit.
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Intangibly, Pillar’s diving catches, and circus plays in the outfield can only improve the clubhouse atmosphere and the morale of the players on the bench, but it’s difficult to see a team looking past a .279 on-base percentage to gain that type of personality.
Finally, even though there’s been a tremendous amount of criticism thrown his way by some hardcore fans, the majority of Blue Jays fans really like this young man. His work ethic, friendly on-field persona, and flair for the dramatic would make it difficult for the front office to deal him, especially given his connection to the nostalgia-filled seasons of 2015 and 2016.
Personally, I like Kevin Pillar and can see him fitting into this team’s future plans for baseball domination. I also understand that some more analytical supporters of this club view him as nothing more than an overly gaudy, speedy liability with fantastic taste in tattoos.
Regardless, this injury doesn’t do anything for Pillar’s actual value, because, as we can deduce from the history of this front office, as well as their lack of interest in trading him, wasn’t on their minds at all.
As Pillar and the Blue Jays enjoy a much-needed break, it’s important to remind ourselves that while this season hasn’t gone exactly as planned, it’s not as doom and gloom as many fans seem to believe it is.