Steve Pearce named MVP of World Series

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Red Sox journeyman Steve Pearce was named MVP of the 2018 World Series. The 35-year-old, who grew up a Red Sox fan and was selected by the Red Sox (but did not sign) in the 2004 draft, hit three homers in the span of two games, knocking in seven runs as the Red Sox won the championship in five games.

Pearce was hitless in the first three games, but did draw three walks while scoring a run and knocking in a run. His impact was felt in Game 4, as his solo home run in the eighth inning off of Kenley Jansen tied the game up at four apiece. Pearce then hit a bases-clearing double off of Kenta Maeda in the ninth, padding his team’s lead to 8-4. Pearce opened the scoring in Game 5 with a first-inning, two-run homer off of Clayton Kershaw and added a solo shot for good measure off of Pedro Báez in the eighth to push the lead to 5-1.

Pearce joins David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and Manny Ramirez as members of the Red Sox to win the World Series MVP award, which began in 1955.

Pearce’s transaction history is a wild journey:

  • Selected by Pirates in eighth round of 2005 draft
  • Signs with Twins as a free agent (Dec. 2011)
  • Signs with Yankees as a free agent (March 2012)
  • Purchased by Orioles (June 2012)
  • Selected off waivers by Astros (July 2012)
  • Purchased by Yankees (August 2012)
  • Selected off waivers by Orioles (September 2012)
  • Re-signs with Orioles as a free agent (April 2014)
  • Signs with Rays as a free agent (Jan. 2016)
  • Traded to Orioles (Aug. 2016)
  • Signs with Blue Jays as a free agent (Dec. 2016)
  • Traded to Red Sox (June 2018)

Quite the feel-good story. The baseball postseason has a way of bringing out the best from these kinds of players. Pearce’s postseason performance has shades of Cody Ross.

Brewers, Jimmy Nelson avoid arbitration with one-year, $3.7 million contract

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Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers and starter Jimmy Nelson have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $3.7 million contract. The deal includes a $50,000 bonus if he wins Comeback Player of the Year Award, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Nelson, 29, was entering his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. The right-hander missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing shoulder surgery in September 2017. He had a solid 2017 season, finishing with a 3.49 ERA and a 199/48 K/BB ratio in 1751/3 innings of work. The Brewers are hoping he can return to form this coming season.

Assuming he’s healthy and productive, he will rejoin a rotation that now includes Jhoulys Chacin, Chase Anderson, Zach Davis, and an as yet undecided No. 5 starter.