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Red Sox Acquire Steve Pearce From Blue Jays

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(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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
Age: 23

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.

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Red Sox acquire:

Steve Pearce, OF/1B
Age: 35

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.

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