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.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.