You want some outfield depth that rarely overwhelms, but never disappoints? The Los Angeles Dodgers have heard you loud and clear, bringing in the only Spider-Man that Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield forgot at their recent reunion.
Or, actually, he technically goes by “Superman” but … come on. His ability to scale walls in Toronto was much more Spider-y than Super. Just roll with it.
On the verge of opening the season down Luke Raley in the outfield depth department, Andrew Freidman acted on Tuesday, adding a buy-low free agent option who fell to the Dodgers on a bargain deal.
Is the 33-year-old Kevin Pillar as much of a defensive wizard with sneaky pop as he was in his Toronto days (or his MVP-vote-getting 2019 season in San Francisco, where he finished 22nd)? Not quite. But as outfield insurance for a potential Cody Bellinger move to the Universal DH/AJ Pollock injury? You could certainly do worse on a no-risk deal.
Not low-risk. No-risk.
Dodgers’ Kevin Pillar contract details
If Pillar makes the big-league roster, he’ll earn a $2.5 million base salary, a downgrade from his most recent contract with the New York Mets. That was a two-year deal signed before 2021 worth a maximum of $6.5 million, but it became a one-year contract with a $1.4 million buyout after the Mets cut ties.
Pillar was unable to replicate either his shortened 2020 (when he became a folk hero in Boston) or his 2019 (when he accrued MVP votes while ripping 21 homers and knocking in 87 runs, despite a below-average 92 OPS+) in New York, but he did show off his true grit, getting bloodied by a fastball to the face, then returning way sooner than expected.
Pillar to the Dodgers isn’t earth-shattering, but we can almost guarantee you’ll see him patrolling the outfield at some point in 2022 for one reason or another.
His role might be undefined, but expect the team to try to get him to stick around past Opening Day.