By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Red Sox and Kevin Pillar are reportedly making it official. The team and the free-agent outfielder have agreed to terms on a one-year deal Wednesday after getting close on Tuesday, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Pillar is ostensibly the 2020 replacement for Mookie Betts after the Red Sox shipped the superstar outfielder along with David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you compare the two directly, Pillar is a clear downgrade in terms of offense and baserunning.
But as far as defense, there are few better options in the game than Pillar to man the notoriously difficult right field at Fenway Park. That aspect of the Red Sox as a team should make for a smooth transition.
Pillar projects as a middle-third batter in the Red Sox lineup, with the potential to bat leadoff as well. In 2019, he hit a career-high 21 home runs and drove in 87 runs for the Giants. Overall, though, he produced a .261 batting average and .735 OPS. Red Sox fans, of course, will remember Pillar for his time with the Blue Jays. He’s a career .307 hitter at Fenway.
Perhaps an important component of Pillar’s presence is it will take pressure off the newly acquired Alex Verdugo to produce right away in the outfield. However, Verdugo projects as a better overall hitter than Pillar.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information comes in…
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.