Red Sox News: Kevin Pillar Traded to Rockies Before 2020 Deadline

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

Boston Red Sox right fielder Kevin Pillar catches a pop-fly hit by Toronto Blue Jays' Brandon Drury during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

The Colorado Rockies acquired outfielder Kevin Pillar and cash considerations in a trade with the Boston Red Sox ahead of Monday's deadline.

Boston will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations, as well as international amateur signing bonus pool space.

Pillar was in his first year in Boston after signing a one-year, $4.25 million deal in the offseason. He has a .274 batting average with four home runs and two triples in 30 games in 2020.

The 31-year-old has produced a .795 on-base plus slugging percentage this year, which would be the highest of his eight-year MLB career over a full season.

Pillar was already coming off a strong year at the plate, setting a career high with 21 home runs for the San Francisco Giants while even earning MVP votes.

The veteran had mostly been known for his defense in the past, saving 60 runs in the outfield from 2015 to '17 while with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to FanGraphs.

Though he has slowed down in recent years, he was still worth two defensive runs saved for the Red Sox this season. He has mostly played in right field to leave room for Jackie Bradley Jr., but he could move back to center field for Colorado to help replace the injured David Dahl.

At 17-17 entering Monday, the Rockies are a contender for the playoffs but needed another boost to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres in the NL West.

The Red Sox were already well out of the playoffs with a 12-22 record and already traded away Mitch Moreland while trying to build for the future. They are left with limited options on the major league roster to play right field, potentially putting J.D. Martinez in the field instead of designated hitter.

Utility players Tzu-Wei Lin and Jose Peraza can also play outfield.