The Dodgers on Tuesday signed centerfielder Kevin Pillar to a minor league deal that includes a non-roster invitation to major league spring training camp.
The 33-year-old hit .231/.277/.415 with 15 home runs and a 90 wRC+ in 124 games last season for the Mets, pretty much in line with his career slash line of .260/.297/.409, an 88 wRC+ in nine seasons with the Blue Jays, Giants, Red Sox, Rockies, and Mets.
If Pillar makes the team, he’ll make $2.5 million while in the majors, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Pillar played his high school baseball at Chaminade Prep in West Hills, and went to college at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
He adds to an outfield mix that, outside projected starters AJ Pollock, Cody Bellinger, and Mookie Betts, includes Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux, and Zach McKinstry on the 40-man roster. Matt Beaty started 28 games in the outfield last year, but the Dodgers would prefer not go that route. James Outman was added to the 40-man roster in November, but after last year’s bench escapades with the unproven Luke Raley, DJ Peters, Zach Reks, and Sheldon Neuse all struggling, you can see why the Dodgers would want some more options.
The Dodgers also have outfielders Jason Martin and Stefen Romero in camp, plus minor leaguers Ryan Noda and Andy Pages as outfielders among the now 27 non-roster invitees in major league spring training camp.
Pillar will wear number 37 with the Dodgers, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.
Pillar talked to reporters at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday morning:
Kevin Pillar said he chose to sign with #Dodgers because of the ideas they presented him. “This is a personal journey for me to see how good of a baseball player I become.”— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) March 22, 2022
Kevin Pillar: "I felt like it was in my best interest for the longevity of my career to maybe take a step back, to take a couple of steps forward. This organization has done a really, really good job of taking players...and turning them into some really good baseball players."— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 22, 2022