With the Mookie Betts trade done and dusted, the Boston Red Sox now turn their attention to finding a replacement for the four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner and three-time Slugger Award winner. Their search for an outfielder has led them to be interested in pursuing free-agent outfielder Kevin Pillar. According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Red Sox are reportedly close to bringing Kevin Pillar to Boston.
The loss of a former MVP in the form of Mookie Betts will no doubt be a gaping hole to fill. However, the Red Sox seemingly believe they can still aim high with a free-agent replacement with Kevin Pillar being the man in question. Kevin Pillar earlier played for the Toronto Blue Jays and, more recently, for the San Francisco Giants. Pillar was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year for centre field in 2015. A Fielding Bible Award followed in 2016.
Kevin Pillar is close to a Red Sox deal. Boston needed righty hitting OF. Plus Pillar allows them to maintain excellent OF defense following loss of superstar Mookie.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 11, 2020
While Kevin Pillar may not quite be the big-name signing Red Sox fans have been pining for over the last week, the former Blue Jays man will still add some positional flexibility for the Red Sox. Pillar's arrival also gives the Red Sox some flexibility in finances. Kevin Pillar hit career-best figures with the San Francisco Giants last season with 21 home runs and also registered his fifth straight season with 14 or more steals. Those numbers, however, could not convince the Giants to tender him a new contract.
With the Red Sox choosing to go for the ex-Giants man, fans will hope that this does not turn out to be another Brusdar Graterol turn. The ex-Minnesota Twins right-hander was earlier slated to join the Red Sox in a three-way agreement as part of the Mookie Betts trade. However, the Red Sox then pulled the plug on the deal after taking an issue with Graterol's medical records, more particularly the Tommy John surgery which led to him missing the entirety of the 2016 season.