Red Sox Acquire Steve Pearce From Blue Jays
Steve Pearce’s tour of the American League East is complete.
The Red Sox acquired Pearce in a trade with the Blue Jays on Thursday night, sending high Class A shortstop Santiago Espinal in return. The Red Sox also received cash considerations to help offset Pearce's salary.
With the deal, Pearce has now been a part of all five AL East teams. He played for the Yankees for part of 2012, the Orioles from 2012-16, the Rays for part of 2016, and the Blue Jays the last two seasons.
Blue Jays acquire:
Santiago Espinal, SS
The Red Sox drafted Espinal in the 10th round of the 2016 draft out of Miami-Dade (Fla.) JC. He was in the midst of a breakout campaign at high Class A Salem, batting .313/.363/.477 with 15 doubles, seven home runs and nine stolen bases in 65 games and earning a selection to the Carolina League all-star game. Espinal is on the slighter side at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, but he has tools. He’s a quick, athletic infielder with average speed, has enough arm strength to stay on the left side of the infield and controls the strike zone well as a contact-oriented player. Espinal’s bat speed is modest and evaluators question whether he’ll hit enough at higher levels, but his infield defense and speed give him survivable tools.
Recent Deadline Deals Bear Fruit
The Blue Jays added two players to the 40-man roster—righty Thomas Hatch and middle infielder Santiago Espinal—who were acquired in deadline deals.
Red Sox acquire:
Steve Pearce, OF/1B
Pearce gives the Red Sox a righthanded complement to Mitch Moreland at first base and Andrew Benintendi in left field, as well as another option at designated hitter. Pearce has long been renowned as a masher of lefthanded pitchers, and he’s doing it again this year with a .306/.358/.531 slash line against southpaws. That’s a trait the Red Sox need. As a team they have just a .750 OPS against lefties, which ranks 15th in the majors, compared to an .810 OPS against righties, which ranks first. Pearce is signed for $6.25 million this season and will be a free agent at the end of the year.