Orioles sign Steve Pearce to a one-year, $3.7 million deal
Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles and first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce agreed to a one-year, $3.7 million contract for the 2015 season on Friday making the number of unsigned arbitration players down to three.
Pearce first wanted $5.4 million from the Orioles and Baltimore countered at $2 million. No. 28 earned $850,000 last season.
In 2014, Pearce had his best season in his major league career. Hitting career highs in doubles (26) , home runs (21) and runs batted in (49), Pearce batted .293/.373/.556 last season.
Pearce, like so many other players who have put on an Orioles uniform, had terrific numbers at Camden Yards in 2014. He batted .329/.416/.600 with 12 home runs and 26 RBI in 51 games at home.
Whether or not Pearce will be able to come back in 2015 and have an equally successful campaign remains to be seen. However with the uncertainty at first base and in the outfield, having Pearce on the roster will help give manager Buck Showalter more options to work with in regards to roster decisions.
Obviously Pearce will be moved around defensively as Showalter sees fit, similar to 2014 where he played at first base and in both left and right field. Getting moved around does not phase Pearce as he owned a .998 fielding percentage at first base with a +9 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and a 1.000 fielding percentage in the outfield with a +8 DRS.
It is rumored Pearce may even get some time to field ground balls at third base during spring training as a backup plan in case Manny Machado is not fully ready come Opening Day.
With Pearce locked in for 2015, the Orioles just need to sign closer Zach Britton, outfielder Alejandro De Aza and right-handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez.