Steve Pearce is prepared to ride off into the sunset.
Pearce acknowledged at the end of the Boston Red Sox’s 2019 season that he planned to step away from baseball for a while and decide whether to retire after a 13-year career. It now appears he has chosen that path with the Major League Baseball winter meetings underway in San Diego.
WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reported Monday that Pearce passed along via text that he’s “unofficially retired.”
Pearce re-signed with the Red Sox on a one-year, $6.25 million contract last offseason after earning World Series MVP honors in Boston’s Fall Classic victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The journeyman first baseman/outfielder hit .333 (4-for-12) with three home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.167 OPS in Boston’s five-game championship triumph, marking the continuation of an overall solid 2018 campaign in which Pearce hit .284 with 11 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .890 OPS across 76 regular-season games (251 plate appearances) split between the Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.
Pearce, a right-handed hitter with a knack for producing against lefties, was expected to form a first base platoon with Mitch Moreland in 2019, but his encore performance in Boston didn’t go as planned. The 36-year-old was limited to just 29 games due to various injuries and finished the year batting .180 (16-for-89) with one homer, nine RBIs and a .503 OPS in 99 plate appearances.
Pearce, currently a free agent, has played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in addition to the Red Sox and Blue Jays.