The White Sox are in agreement with outfielder Kevin Pillar on a minor league contract, reports MLBTR’s Steve Adams (X link). The All Bases Covered Sports Management client would be paid at a $3MM rate if he cracks the major league roster.
Pillar spent the 2023 season in Atlanta. The veteran outfielder inked a non-roster deal with the Braves last winter and cracked the MLB team out of camp. He spent the entire season on the big league club in a reserve outfield capacity. The 11-year MLB veteran appeared in half of Atlanta’s games. He hit .228/.248/.416 through 206 trips to the plate.
The righty-hitting Pillar connected on nine home runs and 10 doubles in a fairly limited sample. A minuscule 2.9% walk rate and a .255 average on balls in play led to a very low on-base mark. That’s the profile Pillar has had throughout his career. He has had a sub-.300 OBP in five of the past six seasons, but he’s reached 15 homers in four different campaigns.
Early in his career, Pillar was one of the sport’s preeminent defensive outfielders. He posted plus defensive marks over his first three-plus seasons, working as a regular center fielder for the Blue Jays. Those grades dipped in 2018-19 as Pillar neared his 30th birthday. He has seen increasing action in the corners in recent years. Pillar started 40 games in the corner outfield while getting the nod in center on three occasions a season ago.
The White Sox have Luis Robert Jr. locked into center and will give Andrew Benintendi a rebound opportunity in left. There’s a vacancy in right field, where the Sox got a dismal .219/.271/.344 showing. Oscar Colás and Gavin Sheets still stand as the top in-house options despite rough 2023 campaigns. Both players hit left-handed, so Pillar could battle for a short-side platoon role. He owns a roughly average .272/.298/.494 slash against southpaws over the past five seasons.