The Blue Jays have interest in free agent utilityman Steve Pearce, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Pearce played DH, first base, second base and both outfield spots in 2016, also briefly appearing at third. Rosenthal notes, though, that the Jays could be interested in the right-handed Pearce (a career .269/.353/.499 hitter against lefties) as a platoon partner for Justin Smoak at first base. Pearce could also give the Jays insurance policies at a number of positions, given the potential departures of Edwin Encarnacion, Michael Saunders and Jose Bautista to free agency.
Pearce underwent forearm surgery in September, and his recovery time then was estimated to be four to six months. Any team signing him would surely have interest in how he’s progressing toward a return, since it appears there’s a possibility the injury could delay the start of his season. Even so, Pearce’s versatility and productive bat (he hit .288/.374/.492 in 2016 for the Rays and Orioles) would make him a solid complementary piece for many teams. MLBTR ranked Pearce the 42nd-best free agent available this winter, projecting he would receive two years and $10MM.