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Toronto Blue Jays trade Kevin Pillar to San Francisco Giants

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Center fielder Kevin Pillar has been sent to the Giants from Toronto

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants have acquired center fielder Kevin Pillar from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Juan de Paula, Alen Hanson and Derek Law, per reports. The exceedingly rare first-week-of-the-season trade was apparently motivated on Toronto’s part by a desire to find playing time for prospect Anthony Alford, while the Giants have been in dire need of outfield help — their primary alignment in the first five games of the season has featured Connor Joe, Steven Duggar and Gerardo Parra as their starting outfielders.

Pillar, 30, has spent his entire career with Toronto, where he has been an elite defender with a middling bat (though his defensive numbers fell off in 2018). Pillar is making $5.7 million in 2019 and is arbitration eligible in 2020 before being eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.

The Giants get a useful starter in their outfield without giving up much. De Paula is a young, raw, projectable pitching prospect who is in the 10-20 range in most of the Giants system rankings, and seems to be considered the main prize for Toronto in the deal. Derek Law is a 28 year old reliever who followed up a 2.13 ERA in 55 IP in 2016 with a 5.06 ERA in 2017 and a 7.43 in very limited action in 2018. Hansen is a 26 year old utility guy who had been designated for assignment by the Giants last week.