Washington Nationals: Kevin Pillar is optimal fit, just doesn’t fit

Kevin Pillar would be an ideal fit for the Washington Nationals, unfortunately there is not a spot on the roster for him.

The Earth is covered by 70% water, and the rest is covered by Kevin Pillar. You’ve heard this saying before haven’t you? This is one guy I’d like to have on my baseball team. Unfortunately, the Washingon Nationals do not have room on the roster for him.

In a normal 162 game season, Pillar is good for 15 home runs and 16 stolen bases, along with playing stellar defense. This past season he hit .288 while playing for the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. Pillar was one of the steals of the trading deadline, hitting .308 with an OPS of .801 after the Rockies acquired him.

With the departure of Adam Eaton, the Nationals have a need for a starting outfielder. Ideally they sign one with more power than Pillar. Beyond Juan Soto, there isn’t a player on the current roster with a proven track record for hitting home runs (apologies to Trea Turner and his power surge this past season). Someone with some pop in the bat would be a priority.

If the Nationals were interested in the services of Pillar, that means he’d be coming in off the bench. What to do with Andrew Stevenson? The last two weeks of the 2020 season sent the message he deserves a longer look at making the team as the fourth outfielder. Stevenson is under team control another five years, where Pillar would likely be on a one year deal. The Nationals didn’t use a second round pick on Stevenson to keep pushing him off. He’s either an asset or not.

The Josh Harrison signing was key to the Nationals bringing in further outfielders. Harrison is a utility infielder who saw some time in the outfield this past season as well. With a healthy Starlin Castro back in the mix, it seems like Harrison sees less time in the infield and equal time in the outfield. Harrison isn’t a home run hitter either.

If the Nationals lose out on the George Springer or Marcell Ozuna sweepstakes, Kevin Pillar should be on the short list of outfielder replacements.