New York Mets: Outfielder Kevin Pillar is a trade target to consider
With the offseason now underway teams are looking into various options to upgrade their team. The New York Mets should consider looking into and trading for outfielder Kevin Pillar.
The New York Mets are in the market for upgrades in a couple of different areas. One of them is center field.
The Mets are rumored to have interest in a right-handed-hitting center fielder who plays better defense than Brandon Nimmo in center. The free agent pool is not exactly deep for center fielders and the trade market is not much better.
Kevin Pillar is an intriguing name that the Mets should look into and consider trading for. He is still arbitration-eligible and has one year left of control in the 2020 season. Since Pillar only has only one year left, it should not take too much to acquire him.
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Pillar fits the mold as a right-handed-hitting center fielder that plays better defense than Nimmo. His numbers in center field have regressed the last two seasons, but he was playing on turf in Toronto which is known to be bad on the knees.
More recently, he spent time in San Francisco, one of the biggest outfields in baseball. Pillar’s numbers could definitely trend back towards his career norm if he gets away from the turf and a better-sized outfield at Citi Field.
This past season Pillar was worth -5 defensive runs saved and committed 4 errors in 133 games and 1,170 innings in center field. Pillar was league average in total fielding runs above average which takes into consideration how many plays were made by the player. Pillar was also league-average in total fielding runs above average per 1,200 innings.
Even though Pillar’s defensive numbers in center field were “league average” this past season, he would still be a defensive upgrade over Nimmo who has negative defensive numbers.
Pillar is no slouch at the plate either. He would be brought over mainly for his defense, but his bat is not bad by any means. He had career highs this past season in home runs, RBI, triples, runs, SLG, OPS, and was second in his career in doubles and hits. Pillar also can bring a little bit of speed to the team which they lack as he has stolen at least 14 bases every year starting in 2015.
Pillar was under contract in 2019 for only $5.8 million and is projected to bring in just under $10 million for 2020. Even after his pay raise, he would still be cheaper than most options that are good enough to replace Nimmo in center field. It would allow the Mets to still have some money left to get a bullpen piece and starting pitching depth before reaching the luxury tax.
Despite Pillar’s defensive not being as good as it once was, the Mets should still consider trading for him since he will be a defensive upgrade in center field and not cost much financially for the production he will bring.
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Should the Mets consider trading for Kevin Pillar?