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.

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.