Texas Rangers: Three free agent options still available this offseason

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 18: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a walk-off RBI single to deep right during the tenth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 18, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Tigers 2-1 in ten innings. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 18: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a walk-off RBI single to deep right during the tenth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 18, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Tigers 2-1 in ten innings. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 26: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park on August 26, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 26: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park on August 26, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

OF Kevin Pillar

Entering the offseason, Kevin Pillar wasn’t on any free agent lists because his leap into the vast unknown of the offseason came when the San Francisco Giants surprisingly non-tendered the veteran despite a string of consistent seasons in the outfield. Now he hits free agency looking to join his third team in a year and a half after he spent the first eight seasons of his pro baseball career with the Toronto Blue Jays.

At only 31, Pillar still is in the midst of his career and is capable of being an impact player. His value dipped slightly last season posting a 1.5 fWAR, the first season in five years his fWAR was not a 2.0 or higher. But he was still productive with the bat hitting .259 in 161 games and hitting 21 home runs. His OPS floats year to year somewhere near the .700 mark which is respectable but his wRC+ last year was just 85, the 12th lowest among qualified hitters.

Pillar has always made his name for his defensive ability though, a plus at all outfield spots. His UZR/150 in center field dropped to its lowest point in his career last year at -1.6 but he is still thought of as one of the better center fielders available. For the Rangers, they currently are slotted to have Danny Santana in center field next season and while expectations are that he will improve, his spot in the lineup is generated from his bat, not his glove. Pillar should be a cheaper option that Puig and could give the Rangers a nice four outfielder rotation with Pillar commanding significant time in center, but also filling in for Calhoun and Gallo at the corner spots when needed.

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