Blue Jays: The Giants reportedly have interest in Kevin Pillar

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 11: Kevin Pillar
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 11: Kevin Pillar /

Though he isn’t considered one of the Blue Jays’ top trade assets at this moment, outfielder Kevin Pillar is reportedly drawing the eye of the San Francisco Giants.

According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports, the San Francisco Giants have discussed potentially trading for Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar. Pavlovic notes that “multiple sources” have indicated that the Giants front office, now headed by Farhan Zaidi, has at least some level of interest in Pillar.

Pavlovic notes in his column (which can be found here), that the Giants have interest in Pillar for a number of reasons. First, the Giants are looking for a potential platoon partner for Steven Duggar, who last year hit just .222 against righties. Additionally, the Giants’ ballpark, AT&T Park, has a massive outfield that requires capable outfielders to effectively cover it. While Pillar’s defence has dwindled over the past couple of seasons, he still has plenty of talent as a defensive outfielder.

Pavlovic also adds that it is unclear whether or not the Giants actually engaged in talks with the Blue Jays, or any outfielder for that matter. Furthermore, he states that Pillar “has not been widely known to be available”, though, at this point, it’s tough to imagine anyone on the Blue Jays 25-man roster (except for Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Ryan Borucki and Danny Jansen) could be considered “untouchable”.

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Finally, Pavlovic finishes up by reiterating that the Giants, who are by no means involved in talks for Bryce Harper, would like to add “minor pieces” and add in smaller ways. It is too early at this point to accurately determine whether their interest in him is legitimate, or if they were simply testing the waters to gauge what an outfielder of his calibre might cost. This is the first time that Kevin Pillar has been mentioned in trade talks of any kind this offseason, at least that the public is aware of.

The Blue Jays have, according to general manager Ross Atkins, been quietly collecting data and having “productive” conversations since the start of the winter meetings, though they haven’t made any moves, except for the release of Troy Tulowitzki. It remains to be seen how close they are to putting deals together, though Atkins’ recent comments should certainly indicate that there are moves imminent.

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Shortly before Pavlovic’s report was published, Pillar was named one of MLB’s four finalists for the year’s “best defensive plays by an outfielder“.  The catch in question is one of the many that Blue Jays fans have been treated to over the last few seasons. While this development appears to be in a larval stage, we’ll be following it as it becomes more detailed. More to come.