6 former Blue Jays fan favourites still without a job heading toward spring training

Which popular former Jays have yet to secure a contract heading into the 2024 MLB season?

San Francisco Giants v Toronto Blue Jays
San Francisco Giants v Toronto Blue Jays / Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages
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Kevin Pillar

For the one they called “Superman”, Kevin Pillar sure left an unforgettable, lasting impression during his seven-year tenure with the Jays between 2013 to 2019. Pillar would provide the fans and the ballclub with dazzling defence, chasing down balls left and right on a daily basis in helping the team stabilize their outfield defence for over half a decade. Surprisingly, despite constantly maintaining a fielding percentage above .984 while putting up multiple seasons of double-digit DRS, including an astounding 24 in 2015, Pillar failed to capture a single Gold Glove award during his time with the team.

At the plate, Pillar managed to put up some solid numbers, as he compiled a respectable .260 batting average with 303 runs scored, 156 doubles, 55 home runs, 231 RBI and 69 stolen bases in 695 career games with the Jays. However, he often swung at pitches that were way out of the strike zone that often drew the ire of the fans. Nevertheless, his astonishing plays in the field made up considerably for his faults at the plate and instantly became a big time fan favourite in the process.

Last year, Pillar got into 81 games as a part-time player in the outfield with the Atlanta Braves. He hit a miserable .228 for the second-lowest mark of his career, along with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 8.5:1. However, he still showed some power by belting 9 home runs and some solid run production with 32 RBI. With defence being his main selling point, gone are the days of Pillar making those breath-taking spectacular plays. But on the good side of things, he has been able to still provide steady defence overall in maintaining a high fielding percentage and a positive DRS this past season whenever he was called upon to play. At aged 35 along with a regressing bat, Pillar will be in tough to secure a regular starting role in the near future with any ballclub, but could still provide valuable outfield depth as an extra outfielder off the bench, in particular for those looking for ideal defensive replacements late in games.