According to Mike Mutnanksy of WEEI, former Toronto Blue Jays utility player Steve Pearce has officially called it a career.
Steve Pearce is currently without a major-league contract and had previously hinted that he was leaning toward retirement in December. However, the ex-Blue Jays player officially announced he was hanging up the spikes in a recent interview with Mutnansky.
The Blue Jays signed Pearce as a free-agent before the 2017 season to a two-year/ $12.5 million dollar contract. Pearce would suit up for 118 games for Toronto before being dealt to the Boston Red Sox in the summer of 2018 in exchange for infielder Santiago Espinal.
During his time the Blue Jays, Pearce hit .260/.325/.454 with 17 home runs in 434 plate appearances. He will be remembered most for hitting two walk-off grand slams four days apart from one another in 2017.
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Following the trade to Boston in 2018, Pearce won the World Series with the Red Sox and was named the MVP of the series after hitting .333 with three home runs in five games versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Red Sox are currently being investigated by Major League Baseball in regards to allegations of sign-stealing with the assistance of video. Pearce touched on the allegations in his interview with Mutnansky quipping.
"“No. That’s such a joke to us,” Pearce said. “When it came out we were all kind of joking about it. We just want this to pass us. We won it fair and square. Whatever they accused us of, we were all kind of like, ‘I can’t believe this is even an issue.’ Once the report comes out we’re all going to be free.”"
His retirement caps a 13-year MLB career spent with the Pirates, Orioles, Rays, Yankees, Astros, Red Sox and Blue Jays. Pearce hit .254/.332/.440 with 91 homers and a 10.0 WAR in 766 career games.
When the Jays traded Pearce to the Red Sox, they received Espinal as the return and at that time it was thought to be a minor deal. However, the infielder has honed his craft nicely since joining Toronto and has a legitimate chance to be a major leaguer. This spring the 25-year old turned some heads hitting .417 with three home runs in 13 Grapefruit League games.
Espinal has been staying and training with Bo Bichette since the season was suspended, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up in 2020.
Pearce was a gritty, meat and potatoes type player who came to play each and every day, a consummate professional and we wish nothing but the best for him during his retirement. Well deserved, Mr. Pearce.