NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Blue Jays have agreed to a 2-year, $12.5 million deal with first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce, as reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Pearce is the second offensive addition of the winter for the Jays, who also added Kendrys Morales on a 3-year, $33 million contract last month. Pearce is likely to split time with the left-handed hitting Justin Smoak at first base, or provide a corner outfield option alongside Melvin Upton Jr. and Ezequiel Carrera.
The Jays are considered unlikely to re-sign Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista after the signings of Pearce and Morales, though things could change. Toronto also has had some reported interest in re-signing outfielder Michael Saunders, who is drawing interest as an option for the Orioles.
Pearce, 33, heads to his fourth AL East team after stints with the Orioles, Yankees and Rays. He spent last season split between Tampa Bay and Baltimore, hitting .288/.374/.492 with 13 homers and being traded from the Rays to the O’s at the trade deadline.
Both Tampa Bay and Baltimore had interest in bringing back Pearce this winter, but instead will have to face him within their division once again.