Blue Jays sign utilityman Steve Pearce
TORONTO (AP) The Toronto Blue Jays signed utility player Steve Pearce to a two-year, $12.5 million contract.
The Blue Jays announced the move Monday. It could spell the end of Edwin Encarnacion's tenure in Toronto as Pearce primarily plays first base and first baseman Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak are also on the roster.
Pearce hit .288 with 13 home runs in 85 games for Tampa Bay and Baltimore last season. The right-handed hitter can also play second base and left and right field and hit .309 against left-handed pitchers.
Not signing fan favorite Encarnacion will not go over well in Toronto, which led the American League in attendance. Encarnacion hit 42 home runs and led the AL with 127 RBIs along with David Ortiz. The Blue Jays might also let free agent right fielder Jose Bautista sign elsewhere.
Toronto has avoided large long-term contracts since Mark Shapiro became president of the club following the 2015 season.
Pearce, 33, underwent surgery to repair flexor tendons in his right forearm in late September and was expected to be out four to six months.