The San Francisco Giants chose not to tender a contract to Kevin Pillar on Monday. It was a bad idea.
The San Francisco Giants decided it was in the best interest of the team to non-tender center fielder Kevin Pillar on Monday. He was set to make roughly $10 million next season, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and general manager Scoot Harris decided that was too much.
From a purely analytical point of view, the move makes sense. If we’re looking at things solely on paper, despite Pillar arguably being their best player on offense last season he had a low OBP and his defensive metrics did not align with the eye test of his web gems.
But from a different point of view, one involving morale, team chemistry, and clubhouse happiness (three things that had NOTHING to do with the Giants winning three championships) this move sends an absolutely awful message to everyone on the team.
But so goes the way of modern baseball. Numbers reign supreme, and since chemistry, morale, and all those other things are not quantifiable, they do not matter. All that matters is your WAR and if it syncs up with your salary.
If it does not, then too bad Jack, or Kevin in this case, you need to find another place to go. The move is emblematic of the Moneyball consensus that has overtaken most front offices so it should really not come as much of a surprise.
We knew Zaidi’s background when he assumed his current position, so we knew decisions like this were all but inevitable.
Now many may say,”Who cares?” because the Giants are not going to contend in 2020 anyways so why does cutting Pillar even matter? The front office is being frugal and making decisions based on numbers, not nostalgia or warm fuzzy feelings inside. Right?
Wrong. Here are three reasons why non-tendering Pillar could have impacts that affect the team going beyond 2020.