Pearce, who turned 37 yesterday, had already indicated he was unlikely to resume his playing career. Though he kept the door open late last year, he has now put to rest any possibility of a surprise return.
Last year turned out to be an injury-ruined disappointment — hardly the only time that Pearce’s body has betrayed him over the years. He managed to appear in 13 campaigns and achieve a full decade of MLB service in spite of his many health woes, but was limited to 2,555 plate appearances over that span.
Now that he has formally wrapped up his playing career, we can put a final wrap on it. Pearce owns a cumulative .254/.332/.440 batting line with 91 home runs. He appeared with seven organizations at the game’s highest level: the Pirates, Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rays, Yankees, and Astros.
Pearce will be remembered most for his surprising breakout years in Baltimore and his brief but notable late run in Boston. He entered his age-30 season with a completely unremarkable record in the majors. He ended up making virtually his entire contribution at the game’s highest level over the ensuing six-year stretch (2013-18), over which he recorded a .266/.347/.479 slash (123 OPS+).
After moving to the Red Sox at the 2018 deadline, Pearce delivered a monster effort down the stretch before a three-homer showing in the 2018 World Series that earned him the MVP award for the series. In his recent comments, Pearce rejected the notion that the 2018 Red Sox benefited from illicit sign-stealing efforts — a matter that still remains unresolved by league investigation, at least publicly.