Sox re-sign Steve Pearce

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Pretty much where I was figuring in terms of $ for Moreland platoon:
How much available money is there to throw at the pen? Considering salary increases.... the Sox REALLY only have a need for a starter and at least one major bullpen addition. The platoon with Moreland doesn't totally seem necessary to me as much as the other two priorities. I'd list them in this order:
1. Bullpen addition ($7 million available for '19?)
2. Starter addition ($15 million available for '19?)
3. 1st base platoon ($6 million available for '19?)

Obviously I'm guessing at these numbers.... but basing it loosely on available totals from Kimbrell, Hanley leaving....
From the BP thread. Definitely like him as Moreland's 1B partner and like that he has some additional positional flexibility.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I almost feel guilty that he deserves more. $10 million is what I thought. Great signing.
For what, nostalgia? He’s a 36 yo platoon journeyman that hit 11 homers last year. I think this is more than fair and I’m glad to have him back, but paying guys like this $10M is how your payroll ends up bloated. That’s $3.5M more to spend on a reliever.
 

mckdale

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I love that they are bringing him back but glad that it is for one year given his age at a fair price too.
 

dhappy42

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I love that they are bringing him back but glad that it is for one year given his age at a fair price too.
The Sox year-by-yeared Big Papi too (for about $9MM more a year,) so it’s hardly an insult. I’m surprised teams give multi-year contracts to players older than 30, no matter how good they are, considering the much greater injury/decline risk.
 

Al Zarilla

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Perfect Fenway Park pull power swing. He’s the kind of guy the Sox have always sought after, and now we have the pitching, the left handed bats and everything else to go along with. The next trade Benintendi thread that comes up I swear I will lose it.
 

McBride11

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Surprised the Dodgers didn't offer more since he is Babe Ruth in their stadium!

Great deal, love the year to year aspect it is taking on. Play him / Moreland until Rafi moves to first?
 

Sam Ray Not

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For what, nostalgia? He’s a 36 yo platoon journeyman that hit 11 homers last year.
11 homers in 252 plate appearances. Plus, you know, four more in 47 playoff plate appearances. And just consistently excellent hitting overall.

OPS
.890 regular season (.901 w/ BOS, .868 w/ TOR)
.762 ALDS
.853 ALCS
1.667 World Series

1/$6.25M? Yes, please. I mean, he could fall off a cliff at age 36 (post age 30, he's had a weird trend of killing it in his odd-numbered seasons and slumping in his even-numbered ones). But at that price it's worth the risk, imo.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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I almost feel guilty that he deserves more. $10 million is what I thought. Great signing.
Most teams don't platoon at 1B so $6.5M is plenty. As the right-handed half, and outside of injuries to JDM or Moreland, he will be lucky to see more than 300 PAs, including pinch-hitting. His experience at other positions is in the OF which won't happen with the Sox. He's no slouch against right-handing pitching, but any PAs will primarily be at the expense of Moreland.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Most teams don't platoon at 1B so $6.5M is plenty.
I'm sure there's a syllogism lurking in there, but damned if I can see it.

You don't pay a player based on how your roster-usage strategy compares to other teams'. You pay him based on how much value you expect to get from him. Pearce is projected to be worth more than $6.5M next year (though not a whole lot more), so the Sox are getting a likely bargain, which is great.

This is kind of an odd platoon situation, anyway. Guess how many of the past six years Mitch Moreland has been a better hitter vs. RHP than Steve Pearce?

One: 2015

Granted, this is probably because Pearce has sat against the toughest RHP, but still, this is a platoon situation more because we already have Moreland under contract than because Pearce needs a platoon partner. I will be very surprised if the playing time situation doesn't translate to more like 50/50, or even something like 90/70 games in Pearce's favor, than a straight platoon.
 
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Papelbon's Poutine

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11 homers in 252 plate appearances. Plus, you know, four more in 47 playoff plate appearances. And just consistently excellent hitting overall.

OPS
.890 regular season (.901 w/ BOS, .868 w/ TOR)
.762 ALDS
.853 ALCS
1.667 World Series

1/$6.25M? Yes, please. I mean, he could fall off a cliff at age 36 (post age 30, he's had a weird trend of killing it in his odd-numbered seasons and slumping in his even-numbered ones). But at that price it's worth the risk, imo.
I’m perfectly fine with $6.5m and think that’s what he deserves for what he brings to table. I was responding to the poster who said he deserved $10m. I think that’s too much to spend on a platoon guy.
 

KenTremendous

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I would've been happy if they paid him $6.25m just like as a "thank-you." Like, just: "Hey Steve, here's six million two hundred fifty thousand dollars. You're the best! Love, John Henry."
 

BaseballJones

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I'm sure there's a syllogism lurking in there, but damned if I can see it.

You don't pay a player based on how your roster-usage strategy compares to other teams'. You pay him based on how much value you expect to get from him. Pearce is projected to be worth more than $6.5M next year (though not a whole lot more), so the Sox are getting a likely bargain, which is great.

This is kind of an odd platoon situation, anyway. Guess how many of the past six years Mitch Moreland has been a better hitter vs. RHP than Steve Pearce?

One: 2015

Granted, this is probably because Pearce has sat against the toughest RHP, but still, this is a platoon situation more because we already have Moreland under contract than because Pearce needs a platoon partner. I will be very surprised if the playing time situation doesn't translate to more like 50/50, or even something like 90/70 games in Pearce's favor, than a straight platoon.
Career splits:

Pearce
- vs RHP: .251/.326/.417/.743
- vs LHP: .266/.352/.500/.852

Moreland
- vs RHP: .255/.323/.457/.780
- vs LHP: .241/.301/.375/.676

So if you platoon them, you end up with a guy who does this:
- vs RHP: .255/.323/.457/.780
- vs LHP: .266/.352/.500/.852

So you're getting a guy who will end up with something like an .800 ops (there are a lot more righties than lefties, so it is heavily weighted towards Moreland's RHP split) with very good 1b defense. It's not like having Gehrig in his prime, but this past year, only 10 teams had an ops at 1b of more than .800. Boston was 11th. So it's just about in the upper third of MLB at that position. For a combined $13 million, that's money well spent.
 

JimD

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Pearce wanted to come back, the Sox wanted him back, and they struck an eminently reasonable deal to accomplish this. He also seems popular in the clubhouse and just generally a good guy who's easy to root for. This signing makes me happy.
 

YTF

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Pearce wanted to come back, the Sox wanted him back, and they struck an eminently reasonable deal to accomplish this. He also seems popular in the clubhouse and just generally a good guy who's easy to root for. This signing makes me happy.
All of this, plus he's clearly knows and is comfortable with what his role is here and has already bought into Cora's management style. .
 
Jul 5, 2018
173
All of this, plus he's clearly knows and is comfortable with what his role is here and has already bought into Cora's management style. .
I see this all the time, but what does "bought into" mean? For the most part, Pearce has been used as a platoon player during his entire career in MLB. Cora's usage of him is likely to be similar.
 

bosox79

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I wonder if Moreland would have any value in a trade and/or if Pearce could handle 1b full time. Moreland isn't much of an upgrade offensively vs R.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I wonder if Moreland would have any value in a trade and/or if Pearce could handle 1b full time. Moreland isn't much of an upgrade offensively vs R.
Can't see how much value Moreland might have in a trade. As with last year's market, there's no shortage of 1B options out there. I think a team could sign a comparable player without having to give up anything of value other than cash.

Also, Pearce's career high in games played is 102. At 36, it seems a big ask to expect him to cover 100 games, let alone the 140+ that you'd expect out of a full time starter.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I see this all the time, but what does "bought into" mean? For the most part, Pearce has been used as a platoon player during his entire career in MLB. Cora's usage of him is likely to be similar.
For his career, he has about 30% more starts vs. RHP than LHP. In 2017, he had more than twice as many, which is approximating normal (non-platoon-biased) usage. Even this year, when he spent the entire season on teams with LHH or switch-hitting incumbent 1Bs, he only had two more starts vs. LHP than RHP, and had slightly more PA vs. RHP (131 to 120).

He's been a part-time player, and his usage has been biased a bit to the platoon-advantage side. But he's never really been a platoon player in anything approaching a strict sense of the term.
 

YTF

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I see this all the time, but what does "bought into" mean? For the most part, Pearce has been used as a platoon player during his entire career in MLB. Cora's usage of him is likely to be similar.
I think what I'm trying to say is based on his time with the Sox in '18, there is a certain level of trust in knowing he'll be used in a much similar way. He was brought in to serve a particular role and was kept here to fill that same role. That said, I'm sure there have been discussions where Cora has told Pearce that he has a somewhat defined role that might be subject to change depending on circumstances. Cora's playoff results have afforded him a certain "currency" with his players and I think and Pearce re-signing as quickly as he did for the money he signed for may be a sign that he's on board with more of the same.
 
Jul 5, 2018
173
For his career, he has about 30% more starts vs. RHP than LHP. In 2017, he had more than twice as many, which is approximating normal (non-platoon-biased) usage. Even this year, when he spent the entire season on teams with LHH or switch-hitting incumbent 1Bs, he only had two more starts vs. LHP than RHP, and had slightly more PA vs. RHP (131 to 120).

He's been a part-time player, and his usage has been biased a bit to the platoon-advantage side. But he's never really been a platoon player in anything approaching a strict sense of the term.
I checked his stats and you're correct. He has a better OPS against LH pitching so it doesn't seem to make sense that he's never been a full-time player. And then, Moreland has been better against RH pitching than Pearce. Will they trade Moreland?
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I checked his stats and you're correct. He has a better OPS against LH pitching so it doesn't seem to make sense that he's never been a full-time player. And then, Moreland has been better against RH pitching than Pearce. Will they trade Moreland?

Over his career, Moreland actually hasn't been better against RH pitching than Pearce -- at least not unless you think a difference of 1 point in wRC+ is significant (Moreland 104, Pearce 103). Pearce was much better in 2018 (124 vs. 106). Zoom out partway, to the last three years, and Pearce is again better than Moreland vs. RHP: 113 to 94.

Bottom line, Pearce is just a better hitter than Moreland. He's about as good, at worst, vs. RHP, and much much better vs. LHP.

As for trading Moreland, I don't think he has much value at this point -- maybe you'd get a semi-fungible bullpen arm -- and since as RHF mentioned, Pearce is pretty old to become a full-time player for the first time, there's some value in keeping Moreland around. Not necessarily the most efficient use of roster space in history, but it works.
 

dhappy42

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I checked his stats and you're correct. He has a better OPS against LH pitching so it doesn't seem to make sense that he's never been a full-time player. And then, Moreland has been better against RH pitching than Pearce. Will they trade Moreland?
I hope not and doubt it. Pearce and Moreland are not only a good platoon pair at 1B, both are reasonably good pinch hitters with HR power. And then there’s the matter of depth. Aside from Pedroia, the team was fortunate injury-wise last year. If any of the four outfielders (including JDM) miss games in ‘19, Pearce Moreland are viable at DH.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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...Aside from Pedroia, the team was fortunate injury-wise last year. If any of the four outfielders (including JDM) miss games in ‘19, Pearce Moreland are viable at DH.
I agree with your overall point, but it's not because we were fortunate injury-wise, unless you're only talking OFs. If so, only Betts spent time on the DL, but then why mention Pedey? In addition to Betts, we had 4 other starting position players go on the DL. In the pen, we lost C.Smith forever and Thornburgh for a big chunk of the season. 3 of our SPs lost a total of 174 days on the DL and that doesn't include Wright's and Johnson's stints. We weren't hammered by injuries, but we weren't fortunate.

But that all supports your larger point. Injuries happen, and having solid vets who at least have sensible platoon roles hedges against injuries and other lost time. Absent some dramatic roster movement, we're not trading Moreland.
 

Sam Ray Not

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As long as this has expanded to the Pearce-Moreland thread, I'm going to take a moment to appreciate Mitchy's two-out, three-run blast in WS Game 4 — when things looked super-bleak for us — that set the stage for Pearce's game-tying shot. I mean, I know it's fresh in all our minds now, but I sometimes wonder if it'll eventually get glossed over amid all of Pearce's heroics (or possibly even, 20-25 years from now, just attributed to Pearce in my foggy brain). It's kinda like the Baylor 2-run dinger in the '86 ALCS that people forget due to the Hendu blast (not to mention the World Series result, bleh).

It's probably been discussed at length in other threads, but that has to be the biggest, most momentum-shifting hit of the 2018 run, or 1a/1b with the two-out, three-run triple by JBJ off Cole in ALCS Game 2.
 
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DeadlySplitter

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Steve Pearce vs James Paxton, career: 2-5, 2B, RBI, 2K

get ready for a few starts against this guy, Steve. :p
 

nayrbrey

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Cafardo had some quotes in today’s Globe from Pearce, seems that Sox considered a 2 year deal as well.

“This is the place I wanted to be,’’ Pearce said. “Everything was done there, and bringing everybody back there, this is where I wanted to play.’’

“You see them from afar and how much fun they had and how they played together, and when I got to join, I got to see the clubhouse, and they had chemistry on and off the field,’’ he said.

“They look like they have a great time every game. I fit right in. It was baseball played different. I knew then it’s where I wanted to play.’’
 

ponch73

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I hope not and doubt it. Pearce and Moreland are not only a good platoon pair at 1B, both are reasonably good pinch hitters with HR power. And then there’s the matter of depth. Aside from Pedroia, the team was fortunate injury-wise last year. If any of the four outfielders (including JDM) miss games in ‘19, Pearce Moreland are viable at DH.
Aside from Pedroia, were the Red Sox REALLY fortunate injury-wise last year? It seemed to me that they were only fortunate injury-wise in the playoffs.

Betts
Price
Bogaerts
EdRo
Sale
Vazquez
Devers
Kinsler
 

dhappy42

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I agree with your overall point, but it's not because we were fortunate injury-wise, unless you're only talking OFs. If so, only Betts spent time on the DL, but then why mention Pedey? In addition to Betts, we had 4 other starting position players go on the DL. In the pen, we lost C.Smith forever and Thornburgh for a big chunk of the season...
I don’t want to derail the Pearce thread with a digression about injuries, but I’ll clarify by saying I was thinking about position players, not pitchers, in my comment about Pearce and power-hitting bench depth. And when I said *relatively* fortunate, I didn’t mean that there weren’t any position-playing starters on the DL, but instead that aside from Pedroia, no one was in the DL for very long. Even Devers played 121 games and Vazquez played 80. That’s obviously fewer than they’d have played had they not been injured, but it’s not as if they were lost for the season.

Aside from Pedroia, were the Red Sox REALLY fortunate injury-wise last year? It seemed to me that they were only fortunate injury-wise in the playoffs.

Betts
Price
Bogaerts
EdRo
Sale
Vazquez
Devers
Kinsler
Again, I was referring to position players.

Martinez 150 games
Benintendi 148
Bradley 144
Betts 136
Bogaerts 136
Devers 121
Vazquez 80 (fewer than you’d hope, maybe, but the team carries three catchers)


Including pitchers, the Red Sox were relatively UNfortunate.

https://www.rosterresource.com/mlb-disabled-list-tracker/
 
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