The White Sox may have found their opening day right fielder.
According to Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors, the White Sox have signed outfielder Kevin Pillar to a minor-league deal. Pillar will make $3M if if makes the big league roster out of Spring Training.
Pillar, 35, 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. With the few outfield signings the White Sox have made this offseason, it’s fair to assume Pillar – given his recent history in the majors – could have the inside track to the starting right field position.
Pillar was a 32nd-round draft pick of the Blue Jays back in 2011 and has spent the majority of his 11-year career with Toronto. He has also made stops in the Dodgers, Mets, Giants, Red Sox, and Rockies organizations in addition to his time with the Braves last year.
However, just like many signings this offseason for Chris Getz, this move could simply be a depth move that provides very little upside moving forward. Given that Pillar has posted a .703 OPS in his career and did most of his damage last season against left-handed pitching, it would make sense for the White Sox to find another piece to pair with him in the outfield.
The White Sox certainly have no shortage of signings over the past few months, and there will be a lot of veterans vying for playing time during Spring Training. Add Pillar to that list with an inside track due to his defensive abilities.
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