Red Sox: Familiar faces in free agency could bolster Boston’s lineup

BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Kevin Pillar #5 of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run in the fifth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on July 26, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Kevin Pillar #5 of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run in the fifth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on July 26, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – JULY 24: Kevin Pillar #5 of the Boston Red Sox makes a leaping catch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day at Fenway Park on July 24, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

Former Red Sox RF Kevin Pillar

Has there been a free agent signing that’s made more of an impact in their first month with a team than Kevin Pillar did in Boston? Obviously, I’m sure there has been but the recency bias with what he did in his short time with the Red Sox was wild. The man made a leaping catch slamming into the bullpen wall in his first damn play! If that doesn’t show the level of player that Pillar is then I don’t know what does. He racked up Web Gems on a nightly basis and wasn’t too shabby in the batter’s box either.

Sadly, his time with the team was cut short as he was traded to the Colorado Rockies at the deadline. Having spent just a month within the organization he didn’t get too much of a taste for the game at Fenway Park, especially with no fans allowed to attend. Just imagine a packed Fenway erupting as Pillar made another one of his routine diving catches, would’ve been beautiful.

His Red Sox tenure saw him post a .274/.325/.470/.795 line with 4 homers and 13 RBI. This offensive performance was one of the reasons he was such a strong trade piece at the deadline, add in his expiring contract and defensive prowess and it was a no-brainer seeing him shipped off.

It’s also why bringing him back should be just as much of an obvious move. Similar to JBJ, with this outfield in shambles right now having a veteran of his quality and caliber in the lineup every night would be a huge boost for Alex Cora.

If Benintendi gets traded and JBJ signs elsewhere, Boston will desperately need help in their outfield, and Pillar can supply that without breaking the bank. He saw his $4.25M salary chopped down to $657K and will likely want a bit of a raise in 2021.

This shouldn’t scare off the Red Sox whatsoever as they could offer something in the realm of 3-years/$12M. It would keep his AAV right at what he was supposed to earn this year and would also lock in a high-quality player for the foreseeable future on a bargain deal.

It’s right down the alley of Bloom who could always flip Pillar again down the road if the deal was right, but in the meantime would allow him to pass on JBJ and trade Benny without a second thought.