Baltimore Orioles: Toronto really wants Steve Pearce


Within the last two weeks Toronto traded Adam Lind to Milwaukee. Of all things, one of the other teams that were apparently interested were the Baltimore Orioles. First off, I don’t see Lind as much of an upgrade over what the Orioles have at first base now. However it’s also unclear as to whether or not the Orioles were ever really in on Lind. As we saw this week with A.J. Burnett, often times teams and agents will float the O’s out there as bait – for whatever reason.

Am I saying that Toronto used the O’s as leverage? They might have, who knows? However it’s really beside the point given that they probably never wanted nor needed him. Nevertheless, the rumor was that Toronto wanted Steve Pearce in return for Lind. That’s the part of the story that interested me the most.

As we all know, Pearce was released by the Orioles in May, and Toronto was hot on his trail. However the Orioles promised Pearce that

Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

they were going to be able to bring him back within a few days, and would do so. Pearce seems to like it in Baltimore, and he’s even said as much. The city, the atmosphere in the clubhouse, the manager, etc – it all adds up. In an amazing display of faith on both sides, Pearce opted not to join Toronto when they were going to claim him and took the Orioles at their word. I don’t think he’s ever regretted that decision.

However I also noticed after that situation that Toronto seemed to resent the Orioles a bit. I might understand that to a degree, although let’s bear in mind that neither Pearce nor the O’s did anything against the rules. Showalter and Duquette exploited a loophole in the system to hang onto Pearce. But each time the Orioles played Toronto I started noticing a lot of Oriole hitters being plunked. If you recall, there was almost a bench-clearing brawl the night the O’s clinched the division.

But that’s neither here nor there. I just find it interesting that wherever the rumor about the Birds being in on Adam Lind came from, it included the fact that Toronto wanted Steve Pearce in return. The fact is that they seem to really want Pearce, and it’s bothering them to no end that they can’t get him.

Pearce isn’t a superstar, nor would he ever claim to be one. But he’s a tough, hard-nosed player, that’s going to win you a few games merely with his hustle and bravado. He’s the type of guy who quietly does his work, knowing that the only credit he needs is the team winning. That makes him a classic Buck Showalter player. And I think we know where Buck stands on his guys.