While not having the same year as he did in 2020, Kevin Pillar could be a low-cost option for the Astros in 2022.
Like last offseason, Kevin Pillar is another center fielder exploring free agency. The soon-to-be 33-year-old was with the New York Mets this past year, as he was most famously remembered with coming back from a brutal face injury.
Pillar slashed below the league average at a .692 OPS, but in his career, he has been known more for his glove. The righty made only $3.6 million this past season, while his lack of offensive production could keep him in the same market for 2022.
Pillar wouldn’t be an end-all replacement in center; he could be a filler to see what the Astros’ options are moving forward in the season. With Meyers not ready by Opening Day, the ball club could lean on Pillar and McCormick to see if the veteran can hit his weight.
Pillar did have 57 games in center this season, but he could be on the move to the corner outfield spots for the backend of his career. The 32-year-old played 52 games in left field, but this could change depending on what roster he ends up on.
If he doesn’t show any sign of progress, he could be dumped easily for some sort of easy compensation, expecting he is on a low-cost deal.
The Astros could look a few different ways this offseason, as they wait on the progression of prospect Pedro Leon. If Meyers isn’t held out too long, they could rely on in-house products, but if they want to attack the market, there are names out there.