The team will non-tender Kevin Pillar
Deciding what to do with Kevin Pillar does not come with the same luxury as the Bumgarner situation where he controls his own destiny and therefore the Giants can skirt blame.
Still, the Giants could opt to not pay the $9.7 million he is projected to make next season in his final year of arbitration.
That would send a distinct message to the club: You can play every day and be an example to your teammates and win the Willie Mac Award, an award to recognize someone who embodies what it means to be a Giant, but if you cost too much and your WAR doesn’t match your salary, then you’re going to be cut loose.
If the Giants do decide to cut ties with Pillar, I don’t think it will sit well with the clubhouse. Several players have already voiced their support for Pillar and hope he will be back next season.
With a new manager incoming, players may feel that even if they bust their rear and play hard every day, then they still won’t be valued.
I genuinely hope this isn’t the case, as Pillar was one of the few players who made the 2019 Giants watchable.
Plus, I think one of the things that the Giants did when they were winning championships that might be scoffed at in the age of analytics was to cultivate a sense of family in the clubhouse. Players weren’t simply numbers who were done away with when their value expired.
Zaidi will probably weigh these things and decide that with Heliot Ramos on the way, the team can afford to go with a place holder like Steven Duggar for a year rather than waste nearly $10 million on a player who may not be around for the next playoff run.