The Blue Jays have suspended outfielder Kevin Pillar two games for his use of a homophobic slur at Braves reliever Jason Motte on Wednesday, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports. Davidi notes that the decision to levy the suspension was done in consultation with Major League Baseball and the players’ union. Pillar’s forfeited salary will be donated, but the Jays have not yet decided on a recipient, though it will likely be an LGBTQ organization.
Both the Jays and Pillar issued public apologies on Thursday and Major League Baseball said it is investigating the incident.
Pillar has started in center field for each of the Jays’ 41 games this season. The Jays are still shorthanded due to injuries, so Chris Coghlan or Darrell Ceciliani may draw a start in the outfield while Pillar serves his suspension.
Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.
Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.
The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.
Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.