BOSTON (CBS) — There will be no packing or moving for Steve Pearce this offseason.
The journeyman-turned-World Series MVP can finally rest easy to start an offseason, knowing that he can call Boston his home for another year. And in signing a one-year deal with the Red Sox last week, Pearce is right where he wants to be.
“It was a very easy decision,” Pearce said Monday on a conference call with Red Sox reporters. “This was the place I wanted to be. The team that I was on, how everything was done there, and bringing everybody back, it was a no-brainer for me. This is where I wanted to play.”
Pearce meshed instantly with his new teammates after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in late June, giving Boston a much-needed righty bat off their bench. He hit .279 with a .901 OPS in 50 games after joining the Red Sox, clubbing seven homers and eight doubles while driving in 26 runs. He was even better in the playoffs, hitting four homers, driving in 11 runs and scoring 12 in 13 games as Boston claimed their fourth World Series title in the last 14 seasons. Pearce hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the World Series against the Dodgers and helped Boston clinch the Fall Classic with two homers in Game 5, earning MVP honors for the series.
With all his success after joining Boston and postseason heroics, there was a chance Pearce could get a starting gig elsewhere. Instead, he’s back in Boston to platoon with Mitch Moreland at first base (or anywhere else Alex Cora tells him to play), eager to defend their World Series title.
“The chemistry that we had on and off the field, and wanting to defend a title, that’s a big deal. I can accomplish all of that by going back to the Sox,” he said.
All that mashing in the World Series means Pearce, who grew up a Sox fan, can rarely walk down the streets of Boston without being recognized. So far, he doesn’t mind.
“I understand it comes with the territory,” he said with a chuckle on Monday.
Now that the business is done, Pearce said he’ll enjoy the holiday week coming up before he starts preparing for next season.