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Giants surprisingly let Kevin Pillar go at non-tender deadline


D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports


The Giants leader of just about every offensive statistic last season is no longer a Giant.

Kevin Pillar has been non-tendered, a source confirmed, the Giants allowing their center fielder and Willie Mac Award winner to become a free agent rather than pay him for his final season of arbitration. He was expected to command about $9.7 million for 2020.

Instead, San Francisco will bring back an outfield of possibilities over probabilities, with Mike Yastrzemski potentially moving to center field and Steven Duggar in the mix. On the corners will be Alex Dickerson — who reportedly signed a $925,000, one-year deal to avoid arbitration — and Austin Slater and Jaylin Davis. It was unclear as of post time whether Joey Rickard had been tendered a contract. The Giants figure to be in the hunt for slugging corner outfielders, which include Nicholas Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna and Yasiel Puig.

Pillar, whom the Giants acquired in early April from the Blue Jays, was never a Farhan Zaidi player, more of a free swinger than slugger who could work the count, and put up just a .293 on-base percentage last season. His 21 home runs were tied for tops on the team, and his 86 RBIs led a squad that badly needed any run it could scrounge up. He played an at-times spectacular outfield but his defensive metrics were less kind than eyes.

“I’m still under control for another season. But yeah, I want to be back here,” Pillar said in September. “My family’s happy here, I’m happy here. Getting to know Farhan [Zaidi] a little bit, I think he’s got a good plan of attack to get this organization back to where it belongs.”

Pillar, though, now will enter free agency a year younger and coming off the best season of his career.

Lefty Wandy Peralta reportedly agreed to a one-year, $805,000 deal prior to the non-tender deadline.

 

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