Pillar is batting .355/.394/.484 with four doubles and two RBI over 12 spring appearances. Pillar joined the Red Sox during the second week of spring training and was immediately penciled in as a reliable backup at all three outfield spots. When news broke that Alex Verdugo, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade, may not be ready for the start of the season due to a stress fracture in his back, Pillar was presumed to be the logical fill-in starter in right field. Recent events leading MLB to push out Opening Day two weeks might give Verdugo enough time to be ready. In that event, Pillar goes back to being a backup and possible fill-in for center fielder Jackie Bradley, who has a history over extended batting slumps.
Pillar agreed Wednesday with the Red Sox on a one-year contract, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Pillar likely profiles as Boston's fourth outfielder when the team is at full strength, but the shaky health of the newly acquired Alex Verdugo (oblique) could allow the 31-year-old to emerge as an Opening Day starter. While splitting time between the Blue Jays and Giants in 2019, Pillar posted a career-high .719 OPS to go with 21 home runs and 14 stolen bases, so he could have some appeal in mixed leagues if he ends up finding consistent playing time in a Red Sox lineup that still looks strong even with 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts no longer in the picture.
Pillar is close to a deal with the Red Sox, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Pillar would help the Red Sox by giving them a right-handed hitting outfielder with premium defense, qualities that could help alleviate the loss of Mookie Betts.
Pillar was non-tendered by the Giants on Monday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. In a surprising move by the Giants, Pillar will become a free agent after being non-tendered. He put together a .259/.287/.432 slash line with 21 homers, 88 RBI and 14 stolen bases over 161 games in 2019 and figures to draw plenty of interest on the open market.
Pillar is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Dodgers, Maria I. Guardado of MLB.com reports. After starting each of the Giants' last 11 games, Pillar will be rewarded with a well-deserved breather as the team closes out its season. Though he's valued primarily for his aptitude with the glove, Pillar will wrap up his 2019 campaign with a career-high .720 OPS, buoyed by 21 home runs and 61 extra-base knocks in total.