February 13, 2020

Red Sox Sign Kevin Pillar

Say hello to Cabin Pirror.

The Red Sox have signed outfielder Kevin Pillar, who turned 31 last month, to a one-year deal worth $4 million, giving the team two center fielders who cannot hit. (Pillar did play 27 games in right field for the Giants last year.)

Pillar's OPS+ since 2015: 93, 81, 86, 92, 89. His WAR (FanGraphs) was never high and it has been steadily dropping: 3.7, 2.4, 2.0, 2.0, 1.5. His career on-base percentage is .296 and last season he had more home runs (21) than walks (18).

With any luck, we'll see Pillar only against lefties. His 118 OPS+ is solid, with average being 28 points higher, on-base 23 points higher, and slugging 68 points higher.

Pillar has been known for highlight-reel, but his Defensive Runs Saved has cratered in the past two years. From 2015-2019: 22, 21, 15, -2, -3. Jackie Bradley's DRS numbers since 2014 are: 13, 4, 12, 6, 9, 10. But he's being paid nearly three times ($11 million) what Pillar is getting.

Ken Tremendous, from 2015:
Kevin Pillar sounds like the name Kevin Millar gave to the cops when they caught him drinking a beer at a house party when he was 17. "I'm Kevin ... Pillar."

1 comment:

FenFan said...

But [JBJ] is being paid nearly three times ($11 million) what Pillar is getting.

That is the crux of this signing more than anything. With JBJ being eligible for free agency at the end of the 2020 season, why not find another team for him before the season begins and get what should be the same production from Pillar?

I also wonder whether the Red Sox will look at adding Rusney Castillo (remember him?!) from Pawtucket. His seven year, $72M deal that he signed what seems like a century ago ends this season. He's being paid $14M this season to play in Pawtucket after spending the last three seasons collecting $35M while not being on Boston's active 40-man roster. Worth a shot?