The Boston Red Sox will bring back postseason hero Steve Pearce on a one-year deal worth $6.25 million. The 35-year old took home the World Series MVP award for the Sox following an excellent .333/.500/1.167 batting line over 16 plate appearances, including a few very well-timed home runs.
The Red Sox acquired Pearce back in June from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league infielder Santiago Espinal, and he proceeded to slash .279/.394/.507 with seven regular season home runs. His cumulative 2018 numbers were right around that mark, at .284/.378/.512, and his peripheral statistics support him being able to repeat, as he posted a .303 BABip with an 11.6% walk rate compared to a 16.3% strikeout rate. Pearce will earn the same amount of money that he earned last season.
Pearce seems likely to serve in a similar capacity that he did last season, platooning with Mitch Moreland while seeing some time in the outfield and as the designated hitter. As a right-handed hitter, he will probably see more plate appearances against left-handed pitching, as he has posted an .889 OPS against southpaws compared to .833 against righties.World Series MVP @WayneTwentyOcho is coming back to the @RedSox in 2019. @OrsattiJoe tells you why the deal makes sense for both sides.Click To Tweet
I would imagine the Red Sox will be in the market for pitching, as Craig Kimbrel, Joe Kelly, Drew Pomeranz and Nathan Eovaldi are currently free agents, Offensively, however, I do not expect them to make a ton of changes or additions from their world championship squad.
I like the signing for the Red Sox, as it sends a message to the clubhouse that the front office believes in the undeniable talent present. Despite a strong season, I am not certain as to whether or not Pearce would have been able to earn quite as much from another team, as the market for first base types has been exceptionally tough over the past few years. It’s a nice reward for the MVP of the Red Sox World Series, and it’s a sign of faith and loyalty that doesn’t carry much financial risk.