Chicago Cubs: Upgrade over Almora?
The last move is a very small one that could be one of those under-the-radar improvements that’s pretty hard even to see. However, with it looking more and more like Albert Almora is pretty much buried on the Cubs bench, why not upgrade our “defensive” fourth outfielder with a guy who can hit a lefty and give you a tough at-bat against someone like- you guessed it- Hader.
Kevin Pillar is an unnecessary big-picture component on a bad Boston Red Sox team. He is 31 years old, he’s on a one-year deal, and he’s not part of any plans in Beantown. If the Cubs considered Pillar a slight upgrade over Almora, they could theoretically pull the trigger on this deal relatively quickly and not have to give up a whole lot. Pillar is only making the prorated part of his $4.2 million salary, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to get him if the Cubs do have money to spend.
Pillar is currently slashing .313/.343/.469, and boy would that be an upgrade over what they’re presently getting from Almora (or even Souza or Caratini as right-handed DH options). If the Cubs feel the need to pad their depth and bench with solid players who better than the ones they’ve already got there, you may see a guy like Pillar in blue pinstripes. Even better is that the Cubs probably only need to include a low-tier prospect or PTBNL in the deal.
Or they could go the Billy Hamilton/Terrance Gore trade route, which would be a great idea given the 26th man the club is working with this season. Those two would be a weapon on the bench to pinch-run late in a game, and Hamilton would be a great defensive replacement in center as well.