By Terry Cushman – @cushmanMLB
Many casual Red Sox fans had no idea who Steve Pearce was when he was traded to the Boston Red Sox from the Toronto Blue Jays on June 29th of 2018. The more hardcore fans knew he would be a complimentary platoon player along side Mitch Moreland. Not a single fan in Red Sox Nation in their wettest, wildest dreams for a split second believed that transaction was the first step of a journey which would lead to an 2018 World Series MVP award.
Many wondered afterwards if winning that award would price him out of Boston? Would several teams go in hot pursuit of him? Will he get a multi year deal?
As it turns out, Pearce, who turns 36 in April, will return to the Red Sox on a one year deal, making the exact same $6,250,000 he made in 2017 and 2018.
Dombrowski Understands Value
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are all the rage right now in MLB free agency. Many are speculating the size of their eventual contracts, which team will land them, etc.
Last winter, many wanted the Red Sox President to pursue Eric Hosmer. He was the sexy name on the market, but like the above aforementioned superstars, he would be overpriced.
Dombrowski instead decided to bring back Mitch Moreland on a two year deal worth $6.5M per year. Moreland ended up having nearly identical stats in 2018 as Hosmer at a savings of $15M. Think about that for a second. As underwhelming as it seemed at the time, the Red Sox saved $15M by going with the less sexy name simply because it is good economics. Those are the teams that win World Series. That $15M could be used to re-sign Andrew Miller, Kelvin Herrera, or Zach Britton.
So let those big market teams handcuff themselves with stupid contracts.
It’s a movable contract
If Michael Chavis, or Bobby Dalbec end up crushing it down in Pawtucket, the Red Sox could make room by trading Pearce and his affordable contract to another team. Or even Mitch Moreland for that matter. Both Red Sox prospects are nearly major league ready, and could potentially be corner stone players on the major league club for years to come.
Current bench situation
Assuming (boldly) that Dustin Pedroia returns to his second base duties this coming season. Your bench is already essentially full. Steve Pearce, Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, and Blake Swihart currently take up all four slots.
If Sandy Leon gets traded or DFA’ed, that would open up a spot assuming Swihart slots into the backup catching role.
For the Red Sox to acquire another bat at this point, they would have to do it via trade with someone who is currently on the major league roster. Or option one of their young players (Devers for example), down to the farm to clear up a spot for the incoming player.
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