Jordan’s thoughts: Here is finally a trade that I feel pretty strongly about the results. I think Kevin Pillar is a fine player. He’s a borderline starter in CF and in LF. He plays everyday. All of this is fine and good. But, he’s really not really a prize. He’s started this season off with a slow 3.05 points per game average. There’s not a lot to love. Granted Team Hydra has been spending the last two weeks trying to replace AJ Pollock with about anything that moves.
The reason I’m so down on Hydra for making this swap is that I believe Kyle Gibson has a lot to offer. Gibson had 16 starts last year where he pitched over 30 points. Touching 56 once. He did have two meltdown starts, but his floor is relatively high with potential to be good or even great. This is the kind of pitcher in my opinion that has a gross amount of value because he is serviceable in basically any week you need him, but he profiles as a guy that can improve slightly and be a consistently good pitcher.
This isn’t to say that Pillar can’t do the same things in center, but I just don’t like getting a borderline hitter for a pitcher who can score you points. Injuries make you do funny things, but I think this trade was desperate by the wrong team.
Andrew’s thoughts: I’m with Jordan. I don’t like it much for Hydra.
The context is really important: TBD had six starts heading into Sunday, so they needed to quickly acquire a seventh or just go without. In my experience, teams who have an extra start on Sunday think this gives them leverage to deal, when usually it just leads to a hasty move.
As Jordan mentioned, Kevin Pillar is fine. He hits atop a strong lineup and his defense will keep him in there. Sometimes, just playing every day carries weight. But he’s not particularly good hitter, posting just .310 wOBA last year. That needs to improve significantly for him to be anything other than a serviceable bench option.
Kyle Gibson, meanwhile, is as boring as they come but considerably more valuable. If a league average starter scores you between 24-25 points per start, Gibson’s been above that two years running. He averaged 25.39 in 2014 and 26.38 last year. He’s not setting the world on fire and probably doesn’t have much more development to do, but a slightly above average pitcher is significantly more useful than an average at best outfielder.
On Sunday, Hydra dropped Austin Jackson, who plays CF/RF and had a .305 wOBA last year. He’s older than Pillar, but the profile is almost identical. So in a roundabout way, you could argue that Gibson was just erased from Hydra’s roster and centerfield was left exactly as is.