As we approach the beginning of February, former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar is surprisingly still without a major league job.
I am fully aware of the plethora of Blue Jays naysayers who have jumped off the Kevin Pillar bandwagon and take pride in repeatedly relishing about his inconsistencies at the plate. However, K.P. is still a proven major leaguer who plays a position in high demand.
The San Francisco Giants acquired Pillar at the beginning of the 2019 campaign but opted not to tender the 31-year old a contract when it was all said and done making Pillar a free-agent by default. He was projected to earn $9.7 million in 2020 which was apparently too rich for the Giants pocketbook.
The outfielder actually had a decent season in the bay, hitting .264/.293/.442 with 21 home runs and 14 stolen bases while compiling a 1.4 WAR in 156 games for the Giants. The saving grace for Pillar is his defensive prowess and although the metrics show a decline, he is still an above-average defender.
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The offseason rumours surrounding Pillar have been fairly non-existent to this point although there are a number of teams reportedly in play for outfield help. Both Pillar’s former teams could use another outfielder before the start of the season as well as the Pirates who are reportedly gauging the market following their recent trade of Starling Marte to the Diamondbacks.
Along with the Pillar, the likes of Yasiel Puig, Billy Hamilton and Cameron Maybin all remain unsigned and available. It appeared that there was interest in Puig early during the offseason but the rumours have since dried up.
Regardless of your personal opinion about Pillar, you cannot dispute that he flat out brings it to the diamond, day in and day out. He sacrifices his body on the daily and would run through a wall to save a ball from falling.
Pillar’s former teammate Evan Longoria recently voiced his support for the outfielder on social media. K.P. posted a photo of himself with his daughter on the field to his Instagram account and Longoria commented “This guy not having a job is a travesty! Flat out baller.”
It would appear that Pillar will be hard-pressed to get anywhere near the $9.7 million he was projected to earn at seasons end. Something tells me, whoever signs Pillar will be getting him on the cheap at this point in the offseason.