Red Sox sign Outfielder Kevin Pillar

The Boston Red Sox recently signed outfielder Kevin Pillar to a one-year, $4.25 million deal. This Pillar signing comes following the loss of Red Sox superstar, Mookie Betts, in a blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While this acquisition definitely helps lessen the damage resulting from the Dodgers trade, it does cause a problem in the outfield.Kevin Pillar
In the Betts trade, the Red Sox acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo, who had a very impressive rookie campaign with the Dodgers. This deal now leaves the Red Sox with five outfielders. (Martinez, Benintendi, Bradley, Pillar, Verdugo) Assuming Martinez is the designated hitter, where does that leave everyone else?

Managing Playing Time

Last season, Kevin Pillar had arguably his best offensive year, hitting .259 with 21 home runs. Where Pillar really shines, however, is defensively. He has been a finalist for Gold Glove in center field every year he has played in the majors. His defensive ability is arguably at the same caliber of Jackie Bradley Jr. For that reason, the Red Sox can balance playing time in center between the two. Pillar can start on days a left-handed pitcher is starting against them, and Bradley can start against right-handed pitchers. This same scenario could work with Verdugo instead of Bradley, as long a Pillar is comfortable in Fenway’s right field. Pillar is also a step above Bradley offensively, which makes him a good option to use as a pinch-hitter. However, I believe that, while this option is a good one, making a trade to free-up room for Pillar to play full time is a better option.

Trading Bradley now that we have Kevin Pillar

Trade rumors involving Jackie Bradley Jr. have been circulating this off-season. I believe that now, more than ever, Jackie Bradley Jr. should be traded. Bradley is still young, has loads of talent, and would be a good piece for any team that is looking to make a playoff push this season and needs help defensively. This move would create room for Pillar, who I believe is slightly better all-around than Bradley to become a full-time player. Verdugo would also become a full-time player, which is crucial for him in this stage of his career, as he is likely yet to reach his full potential in the big leagues. Not only that, but the Sox can finally try to get some decent pitching in return for Bradley. After getting nothing in terms of pitching in the Betts deal, it is crucial that the Sox pick-up at least one or two decent arms to strengthen our subpar pitching staff.

The signing of Kevin Pillar is something that Red Sox fans should be happy about during these dark days without Mookie Betts. However, if the organization doesn’t manage the outfield situation correctly, the team will not improve as much as it should.

Red Sox Draft Picks, Trey Ball and Teddy Stankiewicz

red sox draft picks

Trey Ball #7 Draft Pick Courtesy of soxprospects.com

For weeks there have been questions about who the Red Sox draft picks will be in the #7 and #45 spots, which they hold. What does the organization need? How do they make these decisions, anyway? How does this affect current players at all levels in the Red Sox organization?  What a meaty topic. After all, who doesn’t love a little human trafficking to the tune of millions of dollars, while they enjoy their morning coffee and take in the early edition of Sports Center.

These draft spots will only improve a farm system that is already filled with talent. In the #7 spot, the Sox picked up a left-handed pitcher named Trey Ball. He is still in high school, and now the coolest kid in school. In the #45 spot, they drafted another pitcher, right-hander, Teddy Stankiewicz. I guess you cannot have enough pitching. It certainly has made the difference in the series versus the Texas Rangers, so I’m confident that the picks are good ones, though I know little about the players. Wonder where in the system they will start their careers with the Red Sox?

When questions, like those posed in this post, present themselves, I thank God that I just write about this stuff and I don’t have to negotiate for anyone. I typically give people what they want so I can avoid blood-pressure medication as I approach my mid-thirties. It is nice to know that I can just sit back on my couch, groan, and scratch my head with the rest of Red Sox Nation as the news unfolds.

Really, all this draft talk, for fans like us, is just that, talk. It is the equivalent of watching someone who participates in Fantasy Baseball or Football.  None of us have any control over how our friend may be managing their team, but boy do we hold many opinions about it.