Orioles slugger Steve Pearce hasn’t appeared in a game since last Friday night because of soreness in his right wrist, but he was given a cortisone shot over the weekend and is beginning to feel much better.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko says Pearce is expected to return to the Orioles’ starting lineup on Thursday in New York, and he’ll likely play in each of Baltimore’s final four games so that he can get properly geared up for the ALDS, which is set to begin October 2.
Pearce has been a tremendous surprise for the American League East champions, boasting a .932 OPS and 20 home runs in 98 games this season.
The O’s basically got him for nothing in late 2012 from the Yankees, who put him on waivers.
Another big free agent domino has fallen at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is signing with the Angels on seven-year, $245 million contract, per Jon Heyman.
Rendon, 29, was the top free agent position player. He’s coming off of a season in which he helped the Nationals win their first championship, batting .319/.412/.598 with a league-high 126 RBI and an NL-best 44 doubles along with 34 home runs and 117 runs scored in 646 plate appearances. Rendon also continued to play solid defense at third base. During the postseason, Rendon hit .328/.412/.590 with seven doubles, three homers, 15 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 75 trips to the plate.
The Angels badly needed to make a big free agent splash this offseason, and third base was as good a place as any to do it. Rendon will now slot easily into the middle of the Angels’ lineup along with Mike Trout. It remains to be seen if the Angels are done making moves, but they could use a corner outfielder and another starting pitcher.
Humorously, Rendon has said he’d like to retire by age 35, as Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post alluded to on the Nationals Talk Podcast. This contract will take him through his age-36 season.