The Rays have officially signed Steve Pearce to a one year deal valued at $4.75 million, which can escalate to $6 million through to following incentives:
Pearce terms with #Rays: One year, $4.75M. $125K for 400 and 425 PAs, $250K for 500, 525, 550 and 575 PAs, one-time $250K bonus if traded.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 29, 2016
Last Thursday, news broke that the Rays were close to signing Steve Pearce to a one year deal; however, the contract was not made official until this week.
The delay allowed the Rays to decide what they were going to do with the 40-man roster (which was completely filled at the time). This led to speculation that trade talks might be heating up with the Cubs and Rockies, and boy were those right.
Matt Silverman has flipped the script on the Rays off-season by trading both RP Jake McGee and Top-30 prospect German Marquez to the Rockies for OF Corey Dickerson and Top-30 prospect 3B Kevin Padlo. The move swaps out pitching for power, allowing the Rays to add Pearce to the 40-man roster while slotting in the powerful bat of Dickerson.
In 2016, Pearce is expected to get some time in the outfield while platooning at first base, and serving as the designated hitter when the defense is set.
Yes, Steve Pearce is expected to add some pop to the Rays offense. ZiPS projects him to slash .249/.328/.460 with 13 home runs in 2016. That would be a tick up over his career rates of .247/.325/.431 over nine years in the majors.
Pearce has spent his last three seasons with the Baltimore Orioles organization, batting .258/.339/.482 (194-for-751) over that span, with 40 homers -- 36 of which have come over the last two years. Limited to 92 games due in part to a left oblique strain last season, Pearce was still able to turn in impressive numbers, including 15 home runs.
In 2014, Pearce's .293 batting average led the Orioles, and his .556 SLG ranked fourth in the AL (min. 100 games).The Lakeland Launcher will look to build upon his recent success with his hometown Rays in his age-32 season.