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.

Yankees set to activate Giancarlo Stanton on Tuesday

Giancarlo Stanton
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Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is set to return from the injured list on Tuesday, manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Sunday. The timing coincides well with the addition of Edwin Encarnación, who was acquired from the Mariners on Saturday evening and is expected to be active and available for the Yankees as soon as Monday night.

The Yankees have every reason to hope that Stanton will be able to return to his usual 30+ homer, 4.0+ fWAR self as he works his way back to a full-time role this season. (Fueling some of that hope: Four home runs in 10 PA at High-A Tampa during his latest stretch of rehab games.) Undoubtedly, they’re still prepared to play it safe with the 29-year-old, who has already suffered significant shoulder, biceps, and calf injuries and has not appeared in a major-league game since March 31. Through the Yankees’ first three games of 2019, he went 2-for-15 with a pair of singles, seven walks, and four strikeouts.

With Encarnación slotting into a DH/first base role, Stanton is expected to spend the bulk of his playing time in the left field corner. That may cause a bit of a logjam in the outfield, as Brett Gardner took over that spot in Stanton’s absence and will likely be forced into a backup role once Aaron Judge returns from the IL — but for now, Boone says, he “still expects Gardy to play a lot.”