Ex-Blue Jay Kevin Pillar joins Red Sox on 1-year deal
Outfielder will help fill void by star Mookie Betts' departure
The Boston Red Sox agreed to a one-year deal with veteran outfielder Kevin Pillar, the team confirmed Friday evening.
The deal came two days before Boston's position players report to spring training. Multiple media outlets reported that Pillar will make $4.25 million US, though the team did not announce financial details.
Pillar, 31, started last season with the Toronto Blue Jays and was acquired by the San Francisco Giants in a four-player trade in early April. He combined to hit .259 with a .287 on-base percentage, .432 slugging percentage, 21 home runs and 88 RBI in 161 games.
Pillar, who spent parts of seven seasons in Toronto, is a .261 career hitter with 76 home runs and 318 RBI in 851 games.
The Red Sox likely will use Pillar to help fill the void left by Mookie Betts' departure. Boston shipped Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this month.
Names daughter 'Kobie'
A longtime fan of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, Pillar grew up in the L.A. area and named his daughter "Kobie," after Kobe Bryant.
He said he was most impressed with what Bryant has done after he retired from the NBA. Pillar said he hopes to write a children's book about baseball like the one Bryant wrote about basketball, but he was waiting until his playing career is over to approach Bryant about it.
"That's something that's going to haunt me," Pillar said.
Bryant died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 with his 12-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people. Pillar said he was at a park with his wife and daughter when he saw a tweet reporting the news, but he couldn't believe it at first.
"I'll have that memory as long as I live," he said.
With files from The Associated Press