Not bringing back Kevin Pillar
The Boston Red Sox just signed Kevin Pillar to a one-year, $4.25 million deal. The Giants did not want to pay Pillar $10 million in arbitration, but they could have gotten him for a discounted price.
If they non-tendered him but then began to negotiate, he almost certainly would have taken a one-year deal in the $6-7 million range, understanding that he would be the starting center fielder and knowing that he was a respected leader after winning the Willie Mac Award.
Now the Giants go into the season without a clear center fielder. If Zaidi didn’t want to pay Pillar the $10 million, that’s fine, but he still could have brought back a solid player who led the team in most major offensive categories last season.
Again, he chose uncertainty over a proven commodity. Maybe it will pay off in the long run, but it won’t make things any easier in 2020.