The Red Sox are reportedly in agreement with free-agent outfielder Kevin Pillar on a one-year deal in the $4 million range, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. The completion of the deal is still pending a physical.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman had reported that the two sides were close to a major-league deal on Tuesday.
After officially dealing Mookie Betts to the Dodgers earlier this week, the Red Sox found themselves in need of a right-handed hitting outfeilder, as the club’s projected everyday outfield — Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Alex Verdugo — are all left-handed hitters.
Pillar fills that need in addition to providing exceptional defense in center field.
In 161 total games between the Blue Jays and Giants last year, the 31-year-old slashed .259/.287/.432 with a career-best 21 home runs and 88 RBI to go along with 14 stolen bases. He was non-tendered by San Francisco in early December.
One thing Pillar did exceptionally well last year was produce against left-handed pitching, as he posted an .823 OPS in 174 plate appearances against southpaws.
Compare that to Jackie Bradley Jr.’s struggles against left-handed pitching in 2019 (.640 OPS in 188 PAs), and the two could create quite the platoon for Boston in center field.
A native of California, Pillar was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn approximately $9.7 million in his final year of salary arbitration heading into the 2020 season.
The former Blue Jay owns a lifetime slash line of .307/.339/.380 with one career home run and 22 RBI at Fenway Park.