The Chicago White Sox Have Released Three Veteran Players

OF Kevin Pillar, INF Mike Moustakas, and RP Jesse Chavez have been released.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox have begun trimming down their roster as Opening Day is fast approaching. The team released outfielder Kevin Pillar and Mike Moustakas last night. Veteran relief pitcher Jesse Chavez was informed of his release today.

The team needs to finalize their 26-man roster ahead of next Thursday's first regular season game against the Detroit Tigers.

Moustakas was part of the heavy former Kansas City Royals contingent at Sox camp. Moustakas was a two-time All-Star and World Series winner with the Royals. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018 and made the NL All-Star in 2019. That was his last good season as injuries and age have eroded his skills. He has made stops in Cincinnati, Colorado, and Los Angeles with the Angels.

The infielder, who can play first and third base along with second base in a pinch, signed a minor league deal this offseason with a non-roster invite to spring training. The hope was the veteran could help improve the clubhouse culture and provide some left-handed power off the bench if he made the team. He hit under .200 in Cactus League play, and it doomed his chances of making the club.

Also, the Sox saved having to pay him up to $4 million this year ($2 million base salary and $2 million in incentives) had he made the big-league club.

Pillar's release was rather interesting as he was having a decent spring training. His numbers were not eye-popping, but it was good enough to think he could make the team as the fourth outfielder, especially since he is a good defensive player and clubhouse presence. The Sox added Robbie Grossman yesterday, so that might be the reason the White Sox decided to cut Pillar loose.

Although the team is not opposed to bringing him back into the organization if he decides to accept an offer to go to the minors.

The Sox do avoid having to pay Pillar $3 million had he made the Sox.

Chavez was hoping to pitch one more season at 40 years old before retiring. He was good last season for the Atlanta Braves coming out of their bullpen. He was not effective for the Sox in the Cactus League.

Younger pitchers such as Jordan Leasure, Deivi Garcia, and Jake Cousins were pitching better this spring along with veterans Dominic Leone and Tim Hill. That made Chavez expendable.