The Toronto Blue Jays traded center fielder Kevin Pillar to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday in exchange for infielder Alen Hanson and a pair of right-handed pitchers in Derek Law and Juan De Paula.
Pillar, 30, represented one of Toronto's final remaining pieces from the 2015 division-winning team. Since last offseason, new management has traded Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson, bought out Troy Tulowitzki, and allowed both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista to leave in free agency.
Over seven seasons in Toronto, Pillar became known for his defense in center field and also memorably robbed a home run while playing left field in 2015. Over 695 games with the Blue Jays, he posted a .260/.297/.396 slash line with 55 home runs and 69 stolen bases.
While Pillar's defensive value has routinely made him a two-win player by FanGraphs' WAR, his propensity for striking out while not taking many walks has also led to a below-average wRC+ (weighted runs created plus) in each of his major-league seasons. For his career, he's struck out in more than 16 percent of his plate appearances and taken walks in fewer than 5 percent.
In San Francisco, Pillar will likely anchor the outfield flanked by veteran Gerardo Parra and 25-year-old Steven Duggar. He shouldn't have to wait long to return to his old stomping grounds; the Giants pay a visit to Toronto for a two-game series April 23-24.
Anthony Alford has been recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. The 24-year-old outfielder played in 13 games last year and enters Tuesday as the No. 11 prospect in the Blue Jays' system, according to MLB Pipeline.
The Blue Jays' return in the trade is headlined by Hanson. The 26-year-old has played in 243 games at the major-league level, making appearances at second base, shortstop, third base, and all three outfield positions. The utility man owns a .653 OPS across 577 plate appearances spent between the Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago White Sox.
Law, 28, is a right-hander who made his major-league debut out of the bullpen back in 2016. The reliever has authored a 3.83 ERA and 3.51 FIP over 105 2/3 innings.
De Paula was the No. 19 prospect in the Giants' system prior to the trade. The 21-year-old posted a 1.72 ERA in 52 1/3 innings across two minor-league levels last year.