Steve Pearce
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Red Sox re-sign Steve Pearce to one-year deal

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Red Sox first baseman and World Series MVP Steve Pearce is headed back to Boston for another year, the Red Sox announced Friday. Pearce signed a one-year, $6.25 million deal that will keep him with the club through the 2019 season. According to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, it’s more guaranteed money than any player aged 35 years or older received in 2018.

Pearce, 35, was brought over to the Red Sox during a midseason trade with the Blue Jays for minor league middle infielder Santiago Espinal. He finished the regular season batting a combined .284/.378/.512 with 11 home runs, 14 doubles, and an .890 OPS in 251 plate appearances and really started to hit his stride during the postseason. With starting first baseman Mitch Moreland sidelined with a hamstring injury, Pearce stepped up and quickly became the difference-maker for the team in the ALCS and World Series. He was named series MVP after delivering three key home runs in Games 4 and 5, after which the Red Sox wrapped up their ninth franchise championship title — and Pearce’s first to date.

The signing brings the Red Sox another step closer to reuniting their World Series-winning roster in 2019. As MLB.com’s Ian Browne points out, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and right-handed relievers Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly are all still available in free agency. While the team would likely welcome a reunion with the pitchers next season, they haven’t made significant strides toward acquiring any of the three, though there have been early reports that they have some interest in re-signing Eovaldi or replacing him with a pitcher of similar talent.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.