June 29: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that the Blue Jays included $1.66MM as part of the deal. That’s a bit more than half of what Pearce is owed through season’s end and will help to keep the Red Sox from eclipsing the top tier of penalties in the luxury tax bracket. Boston is just narrowly shy of exceeding the tax threshold by a total of $40MM. Were Boston to cross that $237MM threshold, the team’s top pick in next year’s draft would be moved back 10 spaces.
June 28: The Red Sox have acquired infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce from the Blue Jays, per a club announcement. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe had reported that the team was close to acquiring a right-handed-hitting player (via Twitter).
Minor-leaguer Santiago Espinal will head to the Jays in return. Toronto will also send some cash to their division rivals to help offset Pearce’s salary. The amount of cash remains unknown.
Pearce, 35, was set to return to the open market after the season, when his two-year contract will expire. He’s earning $6.25MM this year, some portion of which will remain on the Toronto books. Pearce, interestingly, has now appeared with each of the five AL East organizations, in addition to time spent with the Astros and Pirates.
To this point of the season, Pearce has been limited to 26 games of action due to injury — a recurring problem for a player who has otherwise generally been quite productive. He’s slashing a robust .291/.349/.519 through 86 plate appearances in 2018. Since the start of the 2013 campaign, he owns a cumulative 121 OPS+. When healthy, then, he’s a rather accomplished hitter — especially against left-handed pitching.
While his calling card is his bat, Pearce also brings solid versatility to the table. He has shown an ability to perform at least passably in the corner outfield, corner infield,and even at second base. For Boston, Pearce could share time at first with the lefty-swinging Mitch Moreland and perhaps also line up at times in left. Whether he’ll be an option at second isn’t yet clear, though that has certainly been an area of some attention given concerns over Dustin Pedroia. (For what it’s worth, the announcement lists Pearce specifically as a first baseman and outfielder.)
With the move, the Jays have likely launched a long-anticipated summer sell-off. Given the state of affairs in the division, and a tough Wild Card race as well, it’s not surprising to see the organization begin moving veterans. It remains to be seen, though, how willing the Blue Jays will be to consider moving more controllable assets.
For their trouble, the Blue Jays will not only save some cash but will also pick up a potentially useful prospect asset. Espinal, a tenth-round pick in the 2016 draft, is hitting well this year at the High-A level. The 23-year-old carries a .314/.364/.478 slash with seven home runs and nine steals over 280 plate appearances. He has lined up primarily at shortstop but has also seen time at second and third base as a professional.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Congrats on completing the AL east Cycle!
Does this make Steve Pearce the first player to have played for all 5 AL East teams?
Kelly Johnson has played for all 5
Yes, but Johnson’s annual ATL-NYM stops were cooler; wanted him to complete trifecta: do it 3 years in a row. He went ATL-NYM-ATL-NYM, 2015-2016. It was the Braves’ turn… But he didn’t sign with either team.., He didn’t play 2017…
I consider Kelly’s annual NYM-ATL stops a more impressive feat than playing for all 5 AL East.
Can both be defined as a Rite of passage? lol
There are 6 players in history that have played for all the teams in each division (not necessarily when they were in the division though). Soon to be 7 with Pearce. This has always been one of the more interesting pieces of trivia with me.
AL East – Kelly Johnson
NL East – none
AL Central – none
NL Central – Cesar Izturis, Ted Savage
AL West – Mark McLemore
NL West – Matt Herges, Steve Finley
Kelly Johnson was the most interesting because he played for all 5 teams consecutively in only 3 years 2012-14.
I don’t even know how you could find this info but it’s now one of my favorite pieces of trivia
If you’re curious, the only active player within 1 team is Zach Duke. He is a Cubs stint away from all 5 NL Central teams.
I like your style hiflew.
Right? Much appreciate hiflew.
I thought Frenchie played for all NL East teams?
Eh, all but the Nats!
There were a few relatively well-known names with 4 in the NL East.
Jeff Francoeur missing the Nats.
Bruce Chen missing the Marlins
Todd Zeile missing the Braves.
Livan Hernandez and Miguel Batista missing the Phillies
In the AL Central there weren’t many well known names
Pat Borders missing the Tigers
Gregg Olson missing the White Sox
A bunch of 30s-50s players (Eddie Robinson biggest name) missing the Royals, but they were all retired before the Royals existed.
Although Eddie Robinson did play for the Kansas City A’s. So maybe he gets half-credit.
That was about it.
Prove it! Lol
You know it’s a surprise that Octavio Dotal or Bartolo Colon didn’t do it considering how many teams they played for.
Edwin Jackson was the biggest surprise for me. But he hasn’t even gotten to 4 yet. He has 3 in 3 different divisions though and he is young enough to possibly play another 5-6 years, so maybe he can become the first ever to do it with two different divisions.
Seems light for a versatile player with an 868 OPS with cash being thrown in.
He did have an injury he missed a month for, and at 35, he seems to be limited to corners. Though he did play 2nd a little in 2016.
Really? I thought the opposite. he’s a 35 year old 1B/DH who’s owed $3m+, only has 84 ABs and has only put together a couple of solid (albeit not spectacular) seasons. And Espinal is a legitimate prospect. I mean he’s not expected to be a superstar by any means… but honestly I would’ve thought Pearce’s value was for “cash considerations or a player to be named later” type of thing.
Idk, either way I’m interested to see how he fits in with the Sox and if he can continue his ‘hot start’ to the season. Sure if he keeps up an 868 OPS over the course of a larger sample size than 84 ABs this could be a ‘steal’ of sorts. But there’s also a realistic chance he regresses and I’m not even sure how he’s going to get ABs in Boston. (Not saying he won’t – he should! especially with their struggles against LHP – but he also doesn’t have a clear cut spot in the lineup either)
He’s been 21 percent better than the league average FOR 5 YEARS! “a couple of solid…..seasons.” Balderdash!
I think you can agree that having a 122 wRC+ over 15 games is hardly much to rave about
Over his career he has accumulated 7.5 WAR. That is including 4.5 in 2014, 2.0 in 2016 and otherwise a combined 1.0 over his other 10 seasons
10 years of nearly replacement level on average and 2 standout seasons accumulating 6.5 WAR – yes, “couple of solid seasons” seems correct
He is good at hitting Jorge. Especially against lefties. But he’s also a defensively limited player who gets injured a lot.
He also hit under .220 in one of those 5 seasons… and managed 100 games just once. A (very) quick look at his career statistics and you can easily see he had 2 good seasons, one decent one and 1 atrocious season – then has a solid start over 84 ABs this year.
I will admit that in my original post I claimed him to be a 1B/DH type – and the more I’ve looked into it he actually seems like a serviceable OF as well – so I will say he has more value there than I have him credit for. Though I don’t see him lining up at 2B for the Sox… even with the injury to Pedrioa.
I haven’t looked at the numbers but I’ve watched nearly every game and Steve Pearce doesn’t seem like a good OF at all. I would have thought the metrics wouldn’t have liked him.
He can play anywhere besides SS, C, and CF. Probably the best offensive utility on the market, defensively below average, but it’s not like he’s playing everyday.
It’s better than a 72 wRC+ over 15 games.
With it being so few games and PA it’s going to be the difference of like 1-2 hits/walks and maybe the Triple being merely a Double.
Overall to get that 122 he had just 15 G, 8 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 7 BB. Iow, such minor numbers one or two removed would have little to no impact
Just because some can play positions doesn’t mean anything and suggesting Pearce was the best utility guy on the market is ridiculous.
Iverbure is 100% correct. Pearce can’t play D, period. Boston would be out of their mind to play Pearce at 2B or 3B – unless they have injuries or playing beyond 15 innings and run out of bench.
Most likely Pearce will be used as a DH against lefties and JD Martinez takes an OF position, or Pearce spells Moreland at 1B from time to time against lefties. Pearce is a dangerous hitter against southpaws.
Yeah, he’s not great out there. He’s passable as a fill in but he’s really not a good defensive player anymore.
Not so light when you consider Pearce’s penchant for hitting the DL. Keeping him on the field has always been the challenge.
DL? Maybe the Mets will want him.
Those are all good points. I just dont see Espinal as anything more than an emergency call-up. I just dont see the lack of plate discipline boding well for him as he as advances.
Why did the Blue Jays acquire another infield prospect? That is the last thing they need. They already have Gurriel, Guerrero, Bichette & Biggio. They have drafted shortstops in the 1st round the last two years. The Jays need pitching prospects in the minors, not more infielders.
Espinal is likely never going to be regarded the same as the prospects that you mentioned, and even if he does, prospects bust all the time.
They have some arms who are starting to flood the upper minors too. This is also Steve Pearce we’re talking about, so taking the best prospect available is the way to go. He wouldn’t have to big of a market and Espinal is having a good season so it’s worth a shot
JDGoat makes good points.
TOR acquiring another infield prospect probably also related to BOS having some depth there in the lower minors and probably offering a better High A-ball prospect in Espinal than the Jays thought they’d be able to get from any other team, at any position.
23 year old single-A player is a longshot to make the majors. A shot, but a long one at that.
They didn’t trade Pearce for Espinal.
They traded Pearce for an empty roster spot. Espinal and a little salary relief were the throw-ins.
Remember when people ripped the Cubs because they had acquired too many SS.?
Something big is coming… Phillips and Pearce will not put us pass the Yanks
It’s not all big moves that help. Even pieces like this are huge too.
The Red Sox already passed the Yankees lol
Glad to see him in a winning team
Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see Sweihart’s days are numbered!
….to the O’s for Machado…..Baltimore adds 750K in International Bonus slots……
Baltimore doesn’t go after Intl prospects, so……
Hope Pearce can do well in Boston. They’ll have a great platoon since he rakes off lefties and Morelands having a nice season.
Just in time for the Yankee-Red Sox series tomorrow Lol
And CC is pitching. Perfect timing if he can make it to the game on time
Pearce absolutely destroys lefty pitching and is versatile around the field and a high character guy. He will make Boston a better team.
“”a high character guy” how exactly do you know this?
Waiting for jimmertee to declare he called this exact trade in December 1994, just days after Espinal’s birth.
While I did not call the Espinal trade lol, as you know for the last 2 years I have been calling for a Jays rebuild not retool, including getting rid of Pearce.
It is good to see the Jays in selling mode. Long overdue.
I suspect that the Jays took the best deal they could for Pearce. As others have said in this thread above, the jays need pitching in the minors. I suspect that they tried but couldn’t get much else in return for Pearce.
Kudos on the Jays. Good trade.
I don’t know much about Espinal, but I hear he has some good tools. He is a real bonifide prospect. Can he play in the majors one day? He has a shot. #Scoutseyes
He’s not even in the redsox top 30 prospects and the Redsox don’t have good system. He’s a lottery ticket for a guy who wasn’t needed in Toronto. Your scout eyes need some better glasses
Correct, Espinal, is presently a 23 year old at High A. If he gets a mod-season call up to AA, and continues to hit, with virtually the same line, THEN he might be looked at a little more seriously.
As of now though, he’s a 23 year old utility player, that’s hitting well at the High A level.
Although, even with that being said, 2017 was only his first professional FULL season. Ideally, you would want him at AA, to consider him a legit prospect though, that’s all I’m saying.
There was no place for Pearce on this team next year. I’m pretty happy that the Jays picked up a low A guy batting over 300. Even it amounts to squat. A shot in the dark is better than nothing. Besides apparently Jimmertee hears “He has got tools” from all his inside sources. That alone makes me sleep better at night.
Good to hear that you are sleeping better at night. I aim to please…….lol.
But do either player get RAVE REVIEWS???
Best of luck to Pearce. I took a liking to him as a Jay.
He’s a good offensive player, who does the best he can with limited (and declining) defensive skills. The Rays players really liked him, and I’ve read where others felt the same way. Seems like a good pickup.
Mark Cahna to Sox is completely dead now.
As a Red Sox fan, I’m not a fan of this move. Plus, he’s talked major trash about Fenway. Just not thrilled about him.
Do you have a link to the thing about the park? And even if it’s true, who cares? I’m sure he didn’t hurt Fenway Parks feelings.
I’m sure a lot of right handed power hitters aren’t too fond of fenway
ddj05… why don’t you like the trade? I’m also a big Sox fan… and they are certainly in need of a RH bat. (they’ve struggled significantly against LH starters — somewhat inexplicably but still the facts are the facts). They didn’t give up all that much – though Espinal may turn into a decent UT player given his solid contact skills and defensive versatility.
I’m not saying I’m jumping for joy at this being an amazing acquisition – but I also don’t see why as a Sox fan you’d have a negative view of the deal.
One other side note – if there was any question before this totally ends the discussion about why Hanley was released… $ there’s no way you can claim it was a “baseball move” if you’re now going out and acquiring a virtually identical profile hitter…
Sox got a guy who hits very well against lefties with a good clubhouse presence while neck-and-neck a NYY, but with injury concerns and advanced age.
Jays got, we assume, the best prospect available for Pearce who seems to have good bench potential at the majors with a slight possibility as more as they try to build for 2019/20, for a guy they weren’t going to have next year regardless.
Not bad for either, really.
Why do people use things like “a good clubhouse presence” when they have no godly way of knowing that.
They usually use that description when the team has just released him.
If you are an avid fan who watches post game interviews, reads in-depth articles and other media sources it’s easy to get a feel for or at the least develop an opinion as to what kind of a “clubhouse” person they are….it’s an opinion not fact….or in this case, a rumor.
Yes, the term good clubhouse presence is like the phrase good towel guy…always willing to share!
If other players, the coaches, the front office talk highly of a guy once he is traded or released, it’s a sign of being a good teammate/clubhouse guy. If your former teammates will miss you, and state so in interviewd, it’s a way to know.
Might be true, but nowhere in the article did it state anything of the such.
And, where are the interviews where anyone talks about a teammate that is no longer on the team….think any player would shy away from that conversation as their former teammate is exactly that…..a former teammate.
Finally, if there is going to be a player traded or released, the first thing your teammates will think is that they are glad it wasn’t them. Don’t think they send flowers either!
Unless you’re in that “clubhouse” you have no way of knowing whether he is good or a dirtbag. Oh former players/managers say the same thing about players 99.9% of the time cause it’s one of baseballs unwritten rules.
stick to parachuting out of planes there, pal.
What happened to this entry?
Like the trivia aspect, but I don’t like this trade one bit. Blowing $ just to blow $ and prospects….if anything a bucket of bats or balls should have sufficed.
Pearce is the type of player that you initially don’t want, but ultimately are glad to have on your team. He exceeds my expectations every time I watch him play. Best of luck to Pearce.
Can’t wait to see him on the field!!!!!
Meaningless move unless the Sox are targeting something bigger and hes plan B.
This is insurance for when JBJ cools down after his inevitable hot streak.
Pearce/JD will play DH/LF, Benny in CF, Mookie in RF against lefties.
Not to say the Sox won’t do more, but to say the move is meaningless is wrong. It might not be a blockbuster, but it fills a hole.
Only blockbuster for the Sox I see happening is one for a left handed reliever.
Still meaningless…it gives the a right-handed batter & a bench. I’m feeling the WOW factor..lol
Not every trade has to have a “Wow factor”. Sometimes you have to fill a need, and that’s what this is.
Boston is a big Market team, right? Fans are looking for the WOW factor especially when their farm is dumped for a win now team. This move is not a win now move
There not there just to make big trades and Wow factor to please the fans lol. They’re there to fill gaps and to make smart trades which this is there’s no reason to not like this trade. This most certainly is a win now move they needed a right handed bad but couldn’t afford a supertar caliber player so Pearce is a smart move good hitter and costs less.
I think this is a quality move the Red Sox have added a right handed bat that, in the past, has been good against lefties. It is no secret that the Red Sox have struggled somewhat against lefties this year and this move can help get another righty into the lineup against lefties. The Red Sox do not have the trade capital to make a big move unless they trade one of their regulars which I don’t see happening.