Toronto reacts to Blue Jays trade of Kevin Pillar to Giants
Veteran Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar is officially leaving Toronto after six years—his entire MLB career to date—for the San Francisco Giants.
The Jays announced the trade on Twitter Tuesday shortly before noon, writing that the team would be getting three minor league players from the Giants in return for Pillar: Alen Hanson, Derek Law, and Juan De Paula.
Reaction to the move among fans has been mixed, to say the least.
Some are sad to see the 30-year-old California native, whose nickname is "Superman," leave Toronto.
"[Pillar] made the Blue Jays worth watching," wrote one fan on Twitter.
"His response to the trade shows he's exactly the type of person you shld want to keep on your team. Thank you for making baseball in Canada exciting Superman!"
Pillar was, after all, involved in the "blue crush" of 2015 and 2016, when the Jays were dominating the playoffs.
The only other players from that time who remain are now Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Justin Smoak, Ryan Tepera and Dalton Pompey.
With the trade of Kevin Pillar, the longest tenured players on the Blue Jays roster are Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman. They both made their debuts in 2014.— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) April 2, 2019
Others are confused and dissapointed in Toronto's Major League Baseball team for trading off yet another beloved player.
I appreciate the Jays' commitment to getting rid of any player anyone recognizes.— Jonny Wakefield (@jonnywakefield) April 2, 2019
Others still seem pleased by the news.
Kevin Pillar was an underachieving .260 career hitter with average pop and awful OBP for the Blue Jays. Toronto fans are thrilled he’s being shipped out. For the #SFGiants however, he’s instantly their best outfielder.— Damon Bruce (@DamonBruce) April 2, 2019
But the overwhelming majority seem to be mourning the centre fielder's loss.
Even Toronto Mayor John Tory weighed in on the trade, writing on Twitter that Pillar was "Toronto's Superman in the outfield and pretty good at the plate too!"
"We're going to miss him on the field for the Blue Jays and the 'Blue Jays in 30' highlight shows will never be the same," wrote the mayor. "Thank you @KPILLAR4 and good luck!"
Pillar himself was emotional when speaking with reporters after news broke of his trade.
He's excited to move back to the west coast and be closer to his family, but will miss The 6ix and all of its charms.
"It's all I've ever known," he said on Tuesday afternoon of playing baseball for Toronto.
"You know, you spend a lot of time here. You spend more time here than you do in your home in the off-season. I spend more time with people here than I do with my own family. That part of it's hard."
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