Steve Pearce
Getty Images

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

5 Comments

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.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
8 Comments

The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.