San Francisco Giants right fielder Kevin Pillar is swinging a hot bat of late. Could he emerge as a legitimate trade candidate this summer?
With contention now out of reach and the outfield situation in flux, Pillar’s future with the team is unclear.
The 30-year-old has another year of team control via arbitration in 2020, but the rebuilding Giants may be better suited rolling with an outfield of Tyler Austin, Steven Duggar and Mike Yastrzemski at this point.
So what happens to Pillar?
He was hitting just .214/.247/.343 over 198 plate appearances heading into the month of June, mired in a 2-for-17 slump.
At that point, a move to the bench for the remainder of 2019 and a non-tender during the offseason was beginning to look like the most likely outcome.
Then he started swinging the bat.
In 15 games this month, he’s hitting .286 with a .772 OPS and eight extra-base hits in 57 plate appearances. He has four multi-hit games during that span and has struck out just six times.
He’s been especially hot of late, going 8-for-20 with two doubles and one home run in his last five games, including another 2-for-4 performance on Tuesday.
If his solid performance at the plate continues over the next few weeks, he could carry some appeal for contenders looking to add a solid fourth outfielder capable of stepping into a larger role as needed.
His remaining year of control through arbitration means he could potentially be more than just a rental, while at the same time coming with no financial commitment beyond this season.
If a contender comes calling with a willingness to offer up a low-level prospect with some upside in exchange for Kevin Pillar, the San Francisco Giants should not hesitate to pull the trigger.