OF Kevin Pillar, Red Sox
Yes, another outfielder from Boston makes this list. If the cost of acquiring Jackie Bradley, Jr. is too expensive for Stearns’ taste, whether with salary or prospect capital, then perhaps he could turn to Kevin Pillar.
Pillar has been a stud defensive centerfielder for quite a while now, and although he’s spent most of his career in Toronto, he’s now over in Boston.
He also brings a similar offensive pedigree to Bradley, Jr. but he hits for a higher average and walks less often. He has solid power, good speed, and a strong track record of consistent performance.
By going after Pillar, the Brewers would have to take on less money in salary, for a similar type of player, and the prospect capital it would cost to acquire him would be lower. Pillar was only signed to a $4.25MM deal for 2020, so if the Brewers were to acquire him mid-season, they would owe him less than a million dollars total.
This year, Pillar is having one of his best offensive campaigns to date. He’s hitting .296/.342/.479 with five doubles, a triple, and two home runs. His 118 OPS+ is the highest of his career, although it’s still early in the season. Still, a player hitting that well would be a welcome addition to the Brewers lineup which needs as many hitters in a groove at the plate as possible right now.
Pillar could man centerfield while Garcia moves back to right and Gamel returns to a part-time role. Ryan Braun can spend most of his time at DH or put back in the originally planned platoons at first base or right field.