The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal to bring back first baseman Steve Pearce, a source tells Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Passan notes that the deal is worth $6.25M.
Steve Pearce was the MVP of the 2018 World Series, helping lead the Red Sox to their fourth World Series championship of the century, and their ninth in franchise history.
Pearce will enter his 13th big league season in 2019, coming off a season where he played in 76 games, slashing .284/.378/.512 with 42 runs batted in on 61 hits, including 11 homers. He walked 29 times while striking out 41.
The Red Sox acquired Pearce from the Toronto Blue Jays in June, in exchange for minor-league infielder Santiago Espinal. Although Espinal played in 128 games between High-A and Double-A, slashing .297/.356/.444, the Red Sox still appear to have won the trade.
The trade made Pearce just one of a few players to play for all five teams in one division; prior to being sent to Boston, he had stints with the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.
Following the trade to Boston, Pearce played in 50 games, slashing .279/.394/.507 with 26 runs batted in on 38 hits, including seven home runs. Pearce played an important role on Boston’s roster throughout the second half of the season and postseason, filling a significant gap at first base that existed following an injury to Mitch Moreland and the release of Hanley Ramirez. For the majority of the time, Pearce served as the starting first baseman, with Moreland as a backup option, and utilityman Blake Swihart as a depth option off the bench.
Re-signing Pearce appeared to be one of Boston’s priorities this offseason, as well as re-signing Nathan Eovaldi and adding a veteran bullpen arm. Boston has yet to take care the second or third tasks, but the re-signing of Steve Pearce assures the Red Sox won’t have to wait until the end of free agency to sign a first baseman.
Pearce was 5-for-16 in the World Series, with eight runs knocked in. He also slugged three homers while walking four times en route to being dubbed the most valuable player of the 2018 World Series.
If the veteran first baseman can produce another season similar to 2018, this signing will prove to be a smart investment for the reigning World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.