The Orioles announced this afternoon that they have claimed Steve Pearce off waivers from the Yankees. Pearce was designated for assignment earlier this week when the Yankees activated Brett Gardner and David Aardsma from the 60-day disabled list.
This will be Pearce’s third team this season and his second stint with Baltimore. The Orioles acquired him from the Yankees in June and he batted .254/.321/.437 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 83 plate appearances with the club before being claimed off waivers from the Astros in late July. The Yankees then got him back from the Astros in late August for a player to be named later. And now he’s back with Baltimore. Quite a weird year.
Pearce won’t be eligible for the postseason roster, but it would be pretty interesting if he does something to help the Orioles top the Yankees in the American League East. Don’t underestimate that “Oriole Magic.”
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.