The World Series MVP who correctly read the free agent market

Rob Bradford
January 18, 2019 - 12:59 pm

Steve Pearce wasn't in the mood to gamble this offseason, and it seems like that approach was a wise way to go.

It took the 35-year-old just two weeks into the offseason before he agreed to a one-year, $6.25 million deal with the Red Sox. And while that wasn't the two-year deal some projected Pearce might be able to garner after living life as the World Series MVP, the move eliminated the kind of uncertainty others in his position are now agonizing with.

"For sure," said Pearce when asked if he was happy to not have to go through this slow-moving offseason as a free agent. "I’ve had to go through the free agent process before and it’s not fun when the market moves this slow. I know a lot of players are frustrated. I’m glad I had the opportunity to sign fast so I don’t have to go through what they’re going through."

Pearce experienced life as a free agent two other times in his career, the first coming after a 92-game season with Baltimore which led to a one-year, $4.75 million contract in Tampa Bay. The other foray resulted in a two-year deal with the Blue Jays worth $6.25 million per season.

But those markets certainly didn't represent anything like this year or last.

Other free agent first basemen who remain unsigned include Matt Davidson, Logan Morrison, Derek Dietrich, Lucas Duda, Marwin Gonzalez, Brad Miller, Mark Reynolds, Danny Valencia, Neil Walker, and yes, Hanley Ramirez.

As for the guys who have inked deals, only Daniel Murphy has managed to lock up a two-year commitment, with Matt Adams, Justin Bour, Wilmer Flores and David Freese all signing contracts for one year at less money than what Pearce ended up with.

"This is where I wanted to be. This is where I wanted to play," said Pearce prior to the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner Thursday night. 

"You get to this point and you think it’s going to be an easy process, but it’s not," he added. "Sometimes it can be very frustrating. As a player you have to move past that, you have to trust your agent and let them do what they have to do and you have to prepare for the next season."

Related: How Brian Johnson's World Series share went to good use