Center fielder Kevin Pillar is still a free agent, and Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman made it clear over the weekend that he misses his former teammate and the prowess he possessed behind him in center field.
In exchanges Sunday on Twitter (that started with Pillar kind of recreating a workout Stroman carried out with a glass of wine on his back), the two went back and forth, including the below from Stroman:
"Haha my brother! Love that! Tell the family I said whatup. You've always been a beast in the weight room KP. Your better years are still ahead of you. Miss having you behind me catching everything!"
Haha my brother! Love that! Tell the family I said whatup. You've always been a beast in the weight room KP. Your better years are still ahead of you. Miss having you behind me catching everything!- Marcus Stroman (@STR0) January 12, 2020
Earlier this month, Jon Morosi of MLB Network asserted that Pillar -- who played with Stroman when they were on the Blue Jays -- "could fit" with the Mets if they don't trade for Starling Marte. He also listed the Diamondbacks and Rangers as other potential fits.
Pillar, who was DFA'd by the Giants in December, hit .264/.293/.442 with 21 homers and 37 doubles in 156 games for San Francisco in 2019.
Defensively last season, Pillar was worth -5 DRS in 129 games in center field. Digging deeper into Pillar's defense in 2019, he was in the 50th percentile when it came to jumps and still had above average sprint speed (in the 74th percentile).
The Mets, who are bumping up against the $208 million luxury tax threshold, would likely need to clear salary before signing Pillar or taking on Marte or another higher-priced player via trade or free agency.
When it comes to Pillar, whose defense slipped in 2019, it's hard to see where he'd fit as the Mets are currently constructed.
As things stand, the Mets are expected to enter the season with J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto in the outfield from left to right. Adding Pillar could mean Nimmo and Davis battling for playing time in left field most days. And that's hard to justify when Nimmo could be better on both sides of the ball in 2020 than Pillar.