JANUARY 2, 1:30pm: Pill has passed his physical and been placed on release waivers by the Giants, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
DECEMBER 21, 7:46pm: Dan Kurtz of MyKBO tweets that KIA's press release says Pill will receive a $50K signing bonus and a $250K salary.
7:15pm: The Giants have announced the deal, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). Schulman tweets that Pill will remain on the Giants' 40-man roster until the deal is finalized. Pill must pass a physical. Kurtz (Twitter link) reports that the Tigers have also announced the agreement.
8:54am: 29-year-old first baseman Brett Pill has reached agreement on contract terms with the KIA Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization, reports Kurtz (via Twitter). The Giants had previously agreed to send Pill to the Gwangju-based Tigers for a transfer fee of around $500K, if agreement could be reached between Pill and his prospective new club.
The minor league veteran has posted strong power and on-base numbers for several years running at Triple-A, including a stellar .344/.379/.630 line with 18 home runs in 289 plate appearances last season. Pill was less productive at the MLB level, with a career .233/.279/.404 line, and his increased K% and lower BABIP could point to difficulties in handling big league pitching. On the other hand, he has seen just 259 plate appearances spread over three seasons. The Oliver and Steamer projection systems (via Fangraphs) both see Pill as a roughly league-average hitter in the bigs in 2014.
While his power remains intriguing, Pill's offensive and positional limitations drag down his attractiveness to MLB clubs. Blocked at his natural first base in the Giants' organization, Pill had apparently failed to transition successfully to another position. Already on the downslope of the aging curve, Pill's pop was apparently not enough to entice a big league team to give him a roster spot.