Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Team Still Pursuing Kevin Pillar
It has been made known that the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to add an everyday centerfielder to their roster. It sounds as if a deal could be close to getting done.
After the Pittsburgh Pirates traded away centerfielder Starling Marte, it left a hole in the team’s outfield. They signed outfielder Guillermo Heredia, but he projects more as a fourth outfielder rather than a starter. Of course, there was the idea that they could shift Bryan Reynolds to man center fulltime. The previous regime tried him out in center at the end of the last season. However, Reynolds profiles as a left fielder long term, so why not just keep him there?
Not long after it was reported that the Pirates were searching for a player capable of handling the everyday duties. Apparently, they were looking into Billy Hamilton, Cameron Maybin, and Kevin Pillar. Since then, Hamilton has signed with the San Francisco Giants. Meanwhile, Maybin and Pillar remain available.
According to Jon Heyman, the Pirates have a strong interest in Pillar. Unfortunately, another team that is interested in Pillar might be a more attractive landing spot. Heyman tweeted that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox have shown the most serious interest in the former Gold Glove finalist:
With Boston trading away Mookie Betts, they could use another outfielder. Heyman speculates that Pillar (right-handed) would likely platoon with Verdugo, and the same thought process would make sense for Pillar to platoon with Jackie Bradley Jr. as well. The other issues are that the Red Sox can outbid the Pirates if it gets to that point and, of course, are much closer to playoff contention than the Bucs are.
However, the Pirates have a lot going for them as well. Pillar, of course, is familiar with both Derek Shelton and Ben Cherington thanks to his time with the Blue Jays. Also, he would likely not be a part of a strict platoon like he would be in Boston, but rather be the everyday centerfielder. Regardless, this seems like a preemptive tweet to a possible decision by Pillar, hopefully, it ends with him wearing Black and Gold.
Update: Well this didn’t last long. Pillar is close to signing with the Red Sox according to Jon Heyman: