Series MVP Pearce says it’s ‘no-brainer’ to stay in Boston

'This was the place that I wanted to be.'

Steve Pearce is congratulated by Xander Bogaerts after his eighth inning home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the 2018 World Series.
Steve Pearce is congratulated by Xander Bogaerts after his eighth inning home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the 2018 World Series. –Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

BOSTON (AP) — World Series MVP Steve Pearce says it was a “no-brainer” to return to the Red Sox for another year.

“This was the place that I wanted to be,” he said on a conference call Monday, three days after agreeing to a $6.5 million, one-year deal with the defending champions. “The chemistry we had on and off the field, wanting to defend a title, that’s a big deal.”

A 35-year-old journeyman who has played for seven teams — including the entire AL East — in a 12-year career, Pearce arrived in Boston at the end of June and spent most of this time with the Red Sox platooning at first base with Mitch Moreland.

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Pearce batted .279 in 50 games for Boston in the regular season, hitting seven homers — five of them against the New York Yankees, including three on Aug. 2. In five World Series games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he batted .333 with three homers, two of them in the Game 5 clincher, to earn MVP honors.

“The team I was on, everything that was done there, bringing everybody back, it was a no-brainer for me,” Pearce said. “We just played different. It was great chemistry on this team, it’s where I wanted to play.”

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he is glad to have Pearce and Moreland back for another year. Moreland is also scheduled to make $6.5 million next season, when he will turn 34.

“We like where we are with Mitch and Steve at first base,” Dombrowski said when asked if the team considered a multiyear deal for Pearce. “We really felt for us, where we are as an organization, where they are in their careers, we really did want to hold it to one year.”

Also Monday, Dombrowski said that second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who missed all but three games last season with knee injury, is not expected to need surgery. The 2008 AL MVP will rehab through the middle of December and start running in January.

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“We’re hopeful he’ll be ready for the season,” Dombrowski said, adding that the plan meant the team probably would not have room for Ian Kinsler to return. “With that prognosis, we’re really as far as positional players pretty well set.”

 

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