MLB News

White Sox Re-Sign Kevin Pillar To Major League Deal

White Sox Release Kevin Pillar, Mike Moustakas

The White Sox are have reunited with outfielder Kevin Pillar just days after the veteran was released by the club, as first reported by Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times. The club has since announced the deal, which is a major league contract. Right-hander Touki Toussaint was designated for assignment in order to make room for Pillar on the 40-man roster. Van Schouwen also reports that right-hander Jordan Leasure is set to make the club’s Opening Day roster as a member of the bullpen. Leasure is not yet on the 40-man roster, meaning the club will need to select his contract prior to Opening Day.

Pillar, 35, is a veteran of 11 MLB seasons who spent the 2023 campaign as a member of the Braves. He appeared in 81 games as a reserve outfielder and pinch hitter for the club, though he struggled at the plate en route to a .228/.248/.416 slash line across 206 trips to the plate. Once one of the game’s best defenders in center field, the shine has worn off of Pillar’s glovework in recent years, relegating him to corner outfield work in more recent seasons. That being said, the veteran is a career .278/.308/.461 hitter against left-handed pitching and makes plenty of sense as a righty complement to the lefty-hitting corner outfield duo of Andrew Benintendi and Dominic Fletcher in Chicago.

Pillar’s return to the organization comes at the expense of Toussaint, who the club acquired off waivers from the Guardians back in June. He made 19 appearances down the stretch with Chicago, 15 of them starts, and posted a 4.97 ERA with a 4.95 FIP in 83 1/3 innings of work. Toussaint struck out a decent 22.7% of batters faced during his time with the club, but walked opponents at a concerning 14.2% clip. The mediocre results and concerning peripherals didn’t stop the White Sox from retaining the righty this winter, but the club now appears ready to move on from Toussaint after a disastrous Spring Training that saw him post a 17.47 ERA in 5 2/3 innings of work that saw him walk a whopping 11 batters while striking out just two. The White Sox will have one week to either trade, release, or pass Toussaint through waivers.

Set to make the club’s Opening Day roster alongside Pillar is Leasure, a 25-year-old right-hander who came to the White Sox as part of the return in the deal that sent Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Dodgers back in July. A 14th-round pick by the Dodgers in the 2021 draft, Leasure enjoyed a strong 2022 season with L.A. as he pitched to a…

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