The St. Louis Cardinals have an over-stocked outfield but that didn’t stop my cousin from suggesting an addition. The question remained, however, whether this addition was even necessary.
The St. Louis Cardinals have an outfield inventory of Tommy Pham, Randal Grichuk, Dexter Fowler, Stephen Piscotty, Harrison Bader, Magneuris Sierra, Jose Martinez, Chad Huffman… That’s a pretty full menu if you ask me, and that is a nice problem to have as July 31 approaches.
That said, in a recent text exchange with my cousin- who readers will remember talks Cardinals baseball with me about as much as my father does- suggested that the St. Louis Cardinals could really use the services of Kevin Pillar. Actually, what he said (to be fair to him) was that he wished the Cardinals had Kevin Pillar after having watched a highlight reel of the Blue Jays outfielder.
A career .264 batting average will entice any team, but I questioned immediately whether the St. Louis Cardinals even had a need for Pillar. Let me show you want I mean…
Before jumping to the St. Louis Cardinals players, let me share that Pillar is 28, right-handed, under team control until 2021, is arbitration-eligible in 2018, and is currently under a 1-year/$555k contract.
Cardinals Player A
I’m going to reserve the right to reveal the names of these players at the end to protect the comparisons.
Player A is 29, right-handed, under team control until 2022, is arbitration-eligible in 2019, and is currently under a minor-league contract. Player A has produced a 2017 slash of .295/.388/.503. If it were me, I would keep Player A over Pillar, but that is based on 2017 numbers only.
Cardinals Player B
Player B is 31, a switch-hitter, under team control until 2022, and is under a 5yr/$82.5M contract (I know, that gives it away immediately, but play along). Player B has produced a 2017 slash of .245/.336/.481. By these numbers, I might be inclined to take either Player B or Pillar as it feels like a general wash to me (save for the age).
Let me also share these numbers though… Pillar’s best season was 2015 (see the numbers above). Player B’s best season was 2016 wherein he posted a slash of .276/.393/.447. Should THIS Player B show up again, I would hand’s-down take Player B over Pillar.
Cardinals Player C
Player C is 25, right-handed, under team control until 2021, is arbitration-eligible in 2018, and is currently under a 1yr/$557K contract. Player C has produced a 2017 slash of .222/.274/.401. Clearly, Pillar would be an improvement over this player.
Cardinals Player D
Player D is 26, right-handed, under team control until 2023, and is under a 6yr/$33.5M contract. Player D has produced a 2017 slash of .250/.366/.402. Like Player B above, Player D and Pillar share very similar numbers so comparing the two is difficult in terms of thinking of one over the other.
Since the contract is established for Player D, I would likely stick with him over Pillar.
If you were savvy enough to guess, Player A is Tommy Pham, Player B is Dexter Fowler, Player C is Randal Grichuk, and Player D is Stephen Piscotty. I didn’t compare the other names on the full St. Louis Cardinals ticket of outfielders but would suspect that there are others who would argue against a signing of Pillar.
To date, the St. Louis Cardinals have not been linked to Kevin Pillar and I doubt that they will be in the future. There are names on the market to be had but I am not one who believes that Pillar is one the Cardinals should consider. Sorry, ‘cuz…