Home » Articles » White Sox re-sign Kevin Pillar to MLB deal, DFA Touki Toussaint

White Sox re-sign Kevin Pillar to MLB deal, DFA Touki Toussaint

by Joe Binder

The White Sox announced a pair of roster moves on Sunday afternoon, highlighted by the return of a familiar face.

Outfielder Kevin Pillar, who was released just days ago, has re-signed with the team on a major-league deal. As a result, right-handed pitcher Touki Toussaint has been designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Pillar, 35, previously signed a minor-league contract with the organization back in February. Though it’s unknown what his new deal is currently worth, previous reports indicated that Pillar would have earned $3 million if he made the major league team on his MiLB agreement.

Pillar, who spent camp fighting for a bench spot, posted a .250/.306/.386 slash with five RBI in 49 appearances. Though he always seemed to be a good fit, hi release came as he and over 30 other veterans had opt-out rights if they weren’t added to the Opening Day roster by Friday’s deadline. It seems likely that the former 32nd-rounder chose to explore his options, even as the White Sox expressed interest in bringing him back. Pillar’s new MLB deal now solidifies his spot on the team’s Opening Day roster.

The corner outfielder spent last season with the Atlanta Braves, hitting .228/.248/.416 in 206 plate appearances. His 24.3 K% and 2.9 BB% leave a lot to be desired offensively – but, his defense is where he’s made his value throughout his career. He posted +3 Outs Above Average (OAA) last season and has above-average speed and arm strength, all qualities which should aid the White Sox in their newfound emphasis on defense around the diamond. Even after the other outfield additions, Pillar’s right-handed bat provides the team a nice complement to the lefty bats of Andrew Benintendi and Dominic Fletcher when needed.

On the other side of this move is potentially the end of Toussaint’s run, unless he clears waivers and is assigned to Triple-A. The 27-year-old put up a 12.91 ERA, 2.74 WHIP, and a forgettable 2/11 K/BB ratio across 7.2 innings this spring. While the move to DFA Toussaint opened up a 40-man roster spot for Pillar, it also opened up the fifth spot in the rotation – clearing the way for prospect Nick Nastrini. Whether or not that promotion comes to fruition right away remains to be seen, as Grifol said today that it may take until Thursday morning to finalize the roster.

In other news, relief prospect Jordan Leasure will indeed be starting with the big league club. Our Michael Suareo wrote about that move in depth earlier today, which can be viewed in its entirety here.

As more roster moves are made, we will provide further updates. Until then, follow us on social media @SoxOn35th for additional updates!

Featured Photo: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

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