The Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays have been trade partners in recent years. Could the pair of teams work another trade before the 2019 season begins?
Among the more notable trades in Major League Baseball in recent years, the Colorado Rockies traded Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto during the 2015 campaign. Last season, the Rockies received relief pitcher Seunghwan Oh from the Blue Jays just before the trade deadline. There are examples of Colorado and Toronto working together … and just maybe it could happen again with a trade that could benefit both clubs.
It is no secret that the Rockies are looking to improve in the outfield. It’s also no secret that the Blue Jays are considering moving on from center fielder Kevin Pillar, a player who has earned the nickname of Superman because of his spectacular defensive plays. Could Pillar make sense in the Rockies outfield, bringing his defensive tenacity to the expanses of Coors Field?
Pillar was recently tendered a contract by the Blue Jays after some questions on where the club would keep the soon-to-be-30-year-old. After a solid showing in the Japan All-Star Series, Pillar is showing that his offense is certainly to be valued as well. Last season, he totaled 15 home runs and 59 RBI while putting together a slash line of .252/.282/.426 and 2,5 WAR.
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True, his numbers have diminished some over the last couple of seasons. However, Pillar could still provide value for a Rockies team that could be in “win now” mode in 2019 with the uncertainty of Nolan Arenado‘s contract looming.
In discussing a potential Rockies-Blue Jays trade with our friends at JaysJournal.com, it is believed that pitching prospects would be the priority in a swap for Pillar. The Rockies received Jeff Hoffman from the Blue Jays in the Tulowitzki deal. Could he go back to the Toronto organization or would someone like a Ben Bowden, Robert Tyler or even Harrison Musgrave (or a combination thereof) make sense to deal?
Pillar would not only solve Colorado’s defensive issues in center field and allow Charlie Blackmon to move over to a corner outfield spot, but he would also have a chance to add to Colorado’s lineup. Pillar batted fifth or lower in the Toronto lineup during the majority of last year’s games so he could add some stability to the bottom of the Rockies order, a place that was a definite issue last season.
He is expected to make $5.3 million in arbitration this offseason and won’t become an unrestricted free agent until the 2021 season. The timing could be right for the Rockies to make a move to shore up their outfield.
However, some Rockies fans may still remember a 2017 incident where Pillar was suspended for two games after uttering what was described as “an anti-gay slur.” Would that be enough for Colorado fans to want their team to steer clear of him?
What do you think? Would you want Pillar on the Colorado roster? Let us know in the comments section below!