The Red Sox have been mostly quiet today, with a few rumors here and there but nothing of substance happening with just about a half hour to go until the deadline. Of course, they had already swung a couple of deals in sending Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies along with the trade that sent Mitch Moreland to San Diego. Still, they had a few players who seemed likely to be dealt that weren’t really involved in many rumors. Well, one of those players did get sent elsewhere before the deadline. According to Mark Feinsand, the Red Sox have traded Kevin Pillar to the Rockies in exchange for a player to be named later and international slot money.
The Rockies are acquiring Kevin Pillar and cash from the Red Sox in exchange for a PTBNL and 2019-20 international slot money, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) August 31, 2020
Pillar has clearly been an effective signing for the Red Sox, at least on the field. He has been thrust into a bigger role of late than was previously expected due to the injury to Andrew Benintendi, but his production has stayed solid. To go along with his typical very good defense, Pillar is hitting better than ever to the tune of a .274/.325/.470 line for the Red Sox this year. He has played a lot of right field, but can obviously play center field without any issue. His defense will be of value to the Rockies in their big park.
As for the return, well, there’s not a whole lot to say about that right now. That’s not to say it’s a bad return — getting anything for Pillar has to be seen as a positive considering where the team is this season — but rather that it’s unknown. The player to be named later could be anyone that is not on the Rockies 60-man player pool, as those are technically the only players allowed to be dealt. It’s possible the name gets leaked, but it’s also a real possibility we don’t know who this player will be until the offseason. I wouldn’t expect a big name to be brought back for Pillar, though. The international slot money could be of value, too, as the Red Sox had basically spent up to their limit and now can add another name before the signing period ends at the end of the calendar year.
To me, the most interesting part of this trade is going to be who comes up to fill Pillar’s roster spot. In terms of pure excitement, the hope would be that the team uses this as a chance to get Jarren Duran some experience in the majors. I’m not expecting that to happen, but given the reports from camp down in Pawtucket on his improvements at the plate it’s not impossible. What’s more likely to me is that we see a lot of José Peraza in left field, giving more opportunities at second base to Michael Chavis and Jonathan Araúz. It will probably be someone like Christian Arroyo or Yairo Muñoz coming up to take that roster spot instead. But we can dream on Duran until we’re told otherwise.