Monday, June 4, 2012

Oriole #928- Steve Pearce

In one quick and relatively unexpected move on Saturday afternoon, the Orioles acquired first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce from the Yankees and immediately added him to the 40- and 25-man rosters. Once I heard about the move, I thought that I might have an autographs of Steve already in my collection so I went searching. 

Sure enough, I did have his autograph in my collection; I had obtained it at a Pirates Spring Training game, in probably 2008 or 2009. At the time, it didn't excite me much, but it's coming in pretty handy at this point. And it's a great example of why I don't like to trade away autographs of players who are still active. You just never know who will play for your team one day.

Steve appeared in 185 games for the Pirates between 2007-11 and hit .232 with 9 homers in what amounted to about a season's worth of at-bats. He became a free agent following the 2011 season and signed a deal with the Twins who released him during Spring Training. The Yankees then signed him but he had an opt-out close in his contract if he wasn't on their roster by June 1, which did not happen, so he exercised the clause. The Orioles swung a deal for him in return for cash considerations.

To me, a signing like this says something about what the O's think of their current crop of players at AAA Norfolk. So often, a player has a hard time cracking the 25 or 40 man roster, and is at an advantage to be called up if he's already on the big league roster. So to bring in an obviously non-roster player like Steve and promote him above any of your current guys means that the talent likely isn't breaking down the door at AAA. But I digress.

I'm a fan of Steve's power potential and position flexibility which the O's greatly need right now with all the injuries and players playing out of position. I don't think he is a long-term answer to their current offensive woes but he could provide a spark. After all, he did go 1-4 in his first game for the O's on Sunday and that .250 batting average has to be near the top of the team!

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