Giants

Sources: Giants interested in Kevin Pillar trade with Blue Jays

Sources: Giants interested in Kevin Pillar trade with Blue Jays

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants still do not consider themselves anywhere near the Bryce Harper chase. Over four days in Las Vegas, they added two outfielders to their 40-man roster, both of whom are just prospects potentially fighting for bench roles.

There’s a middle ground between Harper and the recent additions, though, and the Giants have been active in that market while exploring trades. One name discussed by the front office, according to multiple sources, was Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar, who is interesting for a number of reasons.

Pillar, 29, is a defense-first center fielder who would seem to be an odd fit at first since the Giants already have a young version of that profile in Steven Duggar. But Pillar is a right-handed hitter who always has hit lefties better, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi would like to find a platoon partner for left-handed-hitting Duggar, at least early in his career. 

Beyond that, the Giants are intrigued by the idea of occasionally playing two center fielders at the same time in their massive ballpark. Both prospects picked up this week — Mike Gerber and Drew Ferguson — can play center field, and Pillar is known as one of the top true center fielders in the game. In those discussions, the Giants imagined an alignment that occasionally could have Pillar in center and Duggar in right. 

[RELATED: Why Duggar wants to bring bunts back to life for Giants]

“Right field at our place is just as hard as playing center field,” one source said. 

It’s unclear if the Giants gained any traction in talks for outfielders this week. Zaidi believed he might have a couple of deals in place next week, although he could go in a number of directions as he looks to fill holes. 

Pillar has not been widely known to be available. Still, the Blue Jays are rebuilding in a tough division, with plenty of young talent on the way, and that’s the type of team the Giants have targeted at times. 

The Giants are not fully rebuilding on their own. They prefer to add minor pieces to the lineup and find platoon advantages, and Pillar — or someone similar — is the type of player who makes sense for a team that hopes to be somewhat competitive next season.

Watch Giants' Brandon Crawford, Mike Yastrzemski hit back-to-back homers

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AP

Watch Giants' Brandon Crawford, Mike Yastrzemski hit back-to-back homers

Clear your October plans, Giants fans. 

The Giants somehow are the hottest team in baseball, winning eight of their last 10 games. And they couldn't have started off their doubleheader against the Rockies at Coors Field any better Monday morning. 

Brandon Belt and Buster Posey each singled to start the top of the first inning before Pablo Sandoval surprisingly squared for a sacrifice bunt. The Alex Dickerson train continued with the left fielder scoring Belt on a line drive to right field. But that was just the beginning for the red-hot Giants. 

Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski hit back-to-back jacks to give the Giants a 5-0 lead in the first inning over the Rockies. Crawford went opposite field for a 366-foot three-run homer, his seventh dinger of the year. Yaz followed him with a 433-foot shot to right-center field for a solo shot, his sixth homer this season. 

The Giants entered Monday only 4.5 games back of the second spot in the NL Wild Card standings. While they still appear to be in sell mode before the July 31 trade deadline, anything could happen once a team catches fire.

Giants place Evan Longoria on 10-day injured list with plantar fasciitis

Giants place Evan Longoria on 10-day injured list with plantar fasciitis

DENVER -- Before playing four games at Coors Field, the Giants were forced to make a move with one of their hottest bats. 

Third baseman Evan Longoria was placed on the 10-day injured list with plantar fasciitis and right-hander Ray Black returned to the active roster to provide some pitching depth for a doubleheader. Longoria came out of Sunday's game with left foot pain, something he said has bothered him off and on throughout his career.

Longoria was scheduled to get an MRI on Monday. 

With six homers in his last nine games, Longoria has been a key part of the July surge. He leads the team with 13 homers, and the injury leaves the Giants with a right-handed hole in their lineup.

Pablo Sandoval will start at third base for the first game of Monday's doubleheader and the Giants do have some depth on their roster. Donovan Solano and Austin Slater both can play third base if needed, although Slater would be miscast as a starter.

At the Triple-A level, Zach Green is an obvious choice. The 25-year-old has 22 homers but has been blocked from a promotion because Longoria and Sandoval are at third and Brandon Belt is at first, Green's other position. Green is not on the 40-man roster, so the Giants would have to make additional moves if they were to take a look at a player they added in the offseason. 

[RELATED: Report: Giants, Brewers 'engaged' in Smith trade talks]

In a separate move, right-hander Sam Coonrod was added as the 26th man for the doubleheader. The Giants will need to make another move Monday afternoon when they activate Dereck Rodriguez to start the second game. 

It's been a busy stretch for the front office. Black was optioned on Sunday to clear room for starter Tyler Beede, but he stayed with the team and flew to Denver on Sunday night.