According to a report by USA Today, the Boston Red Sox have reached a one-year deal with former San Francisco Giants outfielder Kevin Pillar. The deal comes just days after Boston’s blockbuster trade in which they sent former American League MVP Mookie Betts out west to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Red Sox strengthen their #4 OF spot for the first time in years, less than 24 hours after drastically weakening their outfield on the whole. Checkers not chess.
— S M A R F (@ColeyMick) February 11, 2020
Pillar, 31, has spent seven seasons in the big leagues, spending a majority of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays until he was traded at the start of last season to the Giants. In San Fran, Pillar was able to have a solid year, posting a .264 average to go along with 21 home runs, 87 RBIs and 15 stolen bases, all while playing a solid centerfield.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 6, 2019
This is a good rebound move for the Red Sox after the departure of Betts. I honestly feel it has been Pillar’s destiny to end up in Boston at some point. The centerfielder goes all out on every play: even if that means an unnecessary dive once and a while.
Pillar also brings a right-handed bat to an all lefty outfield. After receiving lefty outfielder Alex Verdugo in the Betts deal, the Sox outfielders consisted of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and the aforementioned Verdugo. You can throw J.D. Martinez in that mix, but I am almost positive Boston doesn’t envision playing him out in the field all that much, so adding a quality righty like Pillar made a lot of sense. That is especially true if Boston has any worry about Verdugo’s back injury that kept him out at the end of last season.
Obviously Pillar won’t be Mookie Betts (no one is), but he adds much needed depth to a team that lacked it almost all of last season. Still, Boston has to hope the high-flying outfielder (along with the other three outfielders) will pick up some of the production left by Betts, as the Sox plan to contend in 2020.
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-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)