Steve Pearce Granted Fourth Option Year

The Pirates were granted an additional option year with Pearce.

Rob Biertempfel reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been granted a fourth option year for Steve Pearce, after the first baseman/right fielder spent most of the 2010 season on the 60-day disabled list.

On one hand, this is good news for the Pirates, as Pearce can be retained in AAA if he doesn’t make the major league team out of Spring Training.  The Pirates have a potential logjam on the bench as far as outfield options go, with John Bowker out of options, and Pearce and Alex Presley each with options remaining.  That doesn’t factor in Lastings Milledge, who could be forced to the bench if the Pirates acquire an external option for first base or right field.

On the other hand, Pearce needs to be in the majors.  It’s now or never for Pearce, who has a career .240/.313/.394 line in 371 major league at-bats.  He had a big year in AAA last year, with a .326/.424/.535 line in 129 at-bats, followed by a .276/.395/.414 line in 29 at-bats in the majors before getting injured.  Pearce doesn’t have much to prove at the AAA level.  At the major league level he’s had success against left handers, with a .304/.372/.557 line in 115 career at-bats, compared to a .211/.286/.320 line in 256 at-bats against right handers.

Pearce could battle with Milledge as a platoon option in right field, or he could battle Bowker for a bench spot.  Milledge and Bowker are out of options, so the move gives the Pirates some flexibility.  However, the Pirates shouldn’t be concerned with maximizing their assets at this point.  The only way Pearce should be optioned to AAA next season is if he’s legitimately beat out by Milledge and Bowker for a 25-man roster spot.

Biertempfel also reports that Kevin Hart and Jeff Clement are on pace to return in time for early Spring Training.  Hart is out of options, so he will need to start the year on the 25-man roster or the disabled list, or be waived.  My guess is that he ends up in a bullpen role.  Clement was outrighted to AAA last week.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

The 40-60-80 Arbitration Rule

Next Story »

Justin Duchscherer Back on the Radar

Latest Analysis

  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    19 hours ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    2 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    4 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    5 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    7 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More