Could a deal before the trade deadline benefit the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox? ESPN baseball analyst Alex Rodriguez certainly thinks so.
During ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, former Major League Baseball All-Star and current ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst Alex Rodriguez discussed the possibility of current Red Sox players Kevin Pillar or Jackie Bradley Jr. benefitting the Colorado Rockies later this season.
Colorado enters Monday’s game in Houston with a 13-8 mark and sit two games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the race for the National League West crown. Boston, meanwhile, dropped a 4-2 decision to the Yankees on Sunday night, pushing them further to the bottom of the American League East with a 6-16 mark.
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“There are teams out there watching. You’re a team like the Rockies, you’re looking at maybe two players from the Red Sox, Pillar and Bradley Jr. You need a center fielder in that wide, big Coors Field, a winning player,” Rodriguez said.
A-Rod’s timing to pump up Pillar’s value was perfect as the 31-year-old outfielder belted a third-inning solo homer just after Rodriguez finished with his comments potentially linking Pillar and the Rockies.
In 67 at-bats this season, Pillar is slashing .313/.352/.507. Last season, after being traded to San Francisco from Toronto, Pillar had some positives at the plate, but also plenty of negatives as our colleagues at AroundTheFoghorn.com broke down in this article.
Pillar’s once-stellar defense has also slipped in recent years, as was broken down in this article. Here’s also a look, per FanGraphs, at Pillar’s Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) numbers over the last three seasons.
2020: 1 DRS, 2.6 UZR
2019: -4 DRS, 0.3 UZR
2018: -4 DRS, 2.3 UZR
As you can see, while it’s early, Pillar has been better in the field in 2020 than previous seasons. As a note, heading into Monday, Pillar had played in 853 MLB games in the outfield, seeing action in center field in 737 of those contests.
Also, as a note, signed by the Red Sox as a free agent to a one-year, $4.25 million contract on Valentine’s Day, Pillar would be available to the Rockies at a low price if they chose to pursue him.
Bradley Jr., meanwhile, inked a one-year, $11 million contract to avoid arbitration before the season began.
The 30-year-old Bradley Jr., has played outfield in 828 MLB games, with 746 games worth of action in center field. Here’s a look at his defensive statistics over the last three seasons, per FanGraphs.
2020: 1 DRS, -2.0 UZR
2019: -2 DRS, -0.7 UZR
2018: 1 DRS, 8.8 UZR
This season for the Rockies, David Dahl and Garrett Hampson have held down center field in the majority of games. Would an acquisition from the Red Sox move them over to a corner outfield spot?
This is one of the first potential moves mentioned as a possibility for the Rockies as August 31 draws nearer. We’ll keep an eye on all of them and bring you the latest rumors and news.