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Kevin Pillar May Retire After 2024 Season

A veteran back Kevin Pillar plans to retire following the 2024 campaign, he told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale in a recent interview. The 35-year-old veteran has played parts of 12 major league seasons, including seven seasons with the Blue Jays. The pitcher previously suited up for the Mets, Rockies, Giants, White Sox, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Braves throughout his long MLB career and currently plays for the Angels.

Pillar’s professional career began in 2011 when he was drafted in the 32nd round of that year’s draft by the Blue Jays out of California State. Despite this poor draft stock, Pillar moved up to the minor leagues to make his major league debut in 2013 at the age of 24, just over two years after signing. His 36 game cup of coffee in the majors that year didn’t go well, as he hit just .206/.250/.333 (57 wRC+) in 110 trips to the plate. He showed improvement the following year, however, and in 2015 he assumed an everyday role in Toronto. In 601 games with the club from 2015 to 2018, Pillar hit a respectable .263/.301/.401 (88 wRC+) while playing excellent defense in center field and swiping 68 bases.

Pillar parted ways with Toronto at the start of the 2019 season, sending him to the Giants in a rare spring trade. Then 30 years old, Pillar went to San Francisco and picked up where he left off in Toronto, slugging a near-league average of .264/.293/.442 with a career-high 21 homers and solid defense up the middle. . field. Pillar became a free agent for the first time in his career following the 2019 campaign, and split the shortened 2020 season between the Red Sox and Rockies.

Although he began spending more time in the outfield corners during his time with Boston, Pillar was nonetheless a key part of both clubs, hitting .288/.336/.462 with a 105 wRC+ while playing in 54 of 60 games that year. The veteran moved on to the Mets following the 2020 season and served as the team’s fourth baseman that season, marking the beginning of his transition into an everyday role. Since the start of the 2021 campaign, Nsika has appeared in 267 games between the Mets, Dodgers, Braves, White Sox, and Angels. During that time, he slashed a respectable .238/.282/.427 with 31 homers in 736 trips to the plate while splitting time between all three outfield positions.

The 35-year-old veteran is currently in the midst of the best offensive season of his career with Anaheim, hitting .299/.355/.512 (143 wRC+) in 41 games with the team this year. part-time player. That success could make Pillar a viable trade candidate this summer as teams look for offensive help before the trade deadline on July 30. While it may be unclear who Pillar will play for this year, the veteran seems to be feeling it. good for the 2024 campaign that will conclude his 12-year MLB career.

“I watched some of my good friends and teammates, who were much better players than me, maybe gone a year longer,” Nsika told the Nightengale. “I think it would be nice to go out and play well, and people want to know why you don’t want to play anymore, not that the game got you out.”

Pressed if he was sure he would retire at the end of the year, Pillar replied that he was “98% sure” that the 2024 campaign would be his last. The veteran explained that he does not want his family to go through “another unknown season,” although he left the door open to discuss a return in 2025 with his family if “he is lucky enough to get one.” I called at the beginning of the season.”

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