While financial details have not been revealed, this move may very well have breathed new life into Pearce’s professional baseball career. It may have also bolstered a belabored Baltimore franchise that recently lost Gold Glove right fielder Nick Markakis to a hand injury.
Initially drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pearce is a veteran slugger who has bounced around between the major and minor leagues the past five years. The Yankees signed Pearce to a minor league contract in December 2011 after the Minnesota Twins released him.
While Pearce has tremendous upside, his major issue has been his own inconsistency from year to year. In five seasons with the Pirates, Pearce batted .232 with nine home runs and 52 RBI. Yet he also struck out 104 times in 185 games.
This season, however, it appears this 29-year-old Lakeland, FL native has put all the pieces together for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. In 52 games, the right-handed hitter batted .321 (61-for-190) with 11 home runs and 30 RBI. He also had 15 doubles and a .422/.574/.996 line, while having just 33 strikeouts.
While these numbers were certainly deserving of a call up, the Yankees already have Mark Teixeira holding down the first base position at the big league level.
For Baltimore, acquiring Pearce is a shrewd move. Pearce gives the Orioles both the power and flexibility they need for a fairly low price. While Chris Davis is the Orioles first baseman, having a second option at the position gives Buck Showalter flexibility at the outfield and the DH positions.
What Do Orioles Plan on doing with Steve Pearce?
It also gives Baltimore trade possibilities prior to the deadline. For example, maybe the Orioles package Pearce with Mark Reynolds in a deal that could bring Baltimore a starting pitcher who could help this struggling franchise down the stretch.
With that said, should Pearce remain and excel with the Orioles, the team may have a great story on its hands pointing to a man who found a second wind with an up-and-coming team.
As if the 2012 big league season needed any more memorable storylines.