Blue Jays trade Kevin Pillar to San Francisco Giants

Apr 2 2019, 3:56 pm

The Toronto Blue Jays have sent another fan favourite packing, dealing veteran centre fielder Kevin Pillar to the San Francisco Giants.

The Blue Jays receive minor league pitcher Juan De Paula, as well as a pair of major leaguers in pitcher Derek Law and infielder Alen Hanson in return.

Pillar, 30, had played his entire MLB career in Toronto since making his debut with the Blue Jays in 2013. He’s just the latest longtime Jays player to leave town, as the team has embarked on a youth movement.

The West Hills, California native was a key member of back-to-back postseason appearances in 2015 and 2016, and regularly filled the highlight reel with spectacular defensive plays, earning himself the nickname Superman.

Pillar hit .252 with 40 doubles, 15 home runs, and 18 walks in 142 games with the Blue Jays last season. In 695 career games, Pillar has hit for a .260 average with 156 doubles, 55 home runs, and 231 RBIs, averaging a .297 OBP and .692 OPS.

But like Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki, and Josh Donaldson before him, Pillar is now on the wrong side of 30 – which is an issue for this franchise.

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The key to the deal is De Paula – a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher who started last season with the Class-A Staten Island Yankees before being acquired by the San Francisco Giants in the Andrew McCutchen trade.

The 6-foot-3, 165-pound Dominican Republic native held a 1.72 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 27 walks over 52.1 innings of work in 2018. He holds a career 13-14 record and a 2.47 ERA over 48 minor league games.

Law, 28, had a 7.43 ERA across 13.1 innings with 12 strikeouts and eight walks for the Giants last season. Over the last three years, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-handed pitcher has a 9-3 record with a 3.83 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 105.2 big league innings.

Hanson, 26, hit .252 with 17 doubles, five triples, and eight home runs in 110 games with San Francisco in 2018. A switch-hitting infielder, the 6-foot, 170-pound Dominican Republic native has a career .238 batting average with 27 doubles, eight triples, 12 home runs, and 51 RBI over 243 games.

More to come…