Rays signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal
The Rays are signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal pending a physical, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.
Pearce, 32, will get at-bats at DH, 1B and in the outfield. The Lakeland native has played parts of nine seasons in the majors, the last three with Baltimore.
Pearce had a spectacular 2014 season, hitting .293 with 21 homers, 49 RBIs and a .930 OPS in 102 games but fell off considerably last year, hitting .218-15-40-.711 in 92 games.
Pearce is a graduate of Lakeland High, and was an 8th-round pick by the Pirates in the 2005 draft, making it to the majors by 2007. He stayed with the Pirates through 2011, spent a hectic 2012 bouncing between the Twins, Yankees, Astros and ultimately Orioles, where he found a home.
Pearce made $3.7-million last season with the Orioles.
He has split his time between the corner outfield spots and first place, and has also filled at second and third.
Pearce has hit extremely well at the Trop, with a 1.039 OPS over 23 games, with 7 homers and 14 RBIIs.
The Rays will have to make room on the 40-man roster for Pearce.