Blue Jays deal Pearce to the Red Sox

 The Toronto Blue Jays dealt Steve Pearce to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.  Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski, USA Today Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays dealt Steve Pearce to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.  Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski, USA Today Sports

By Andrew Hendriks

Canadian Baseball Network

TORONTO -- In the first of what promises to be a series of trades made by the club between now and July 31, the Toronto Blue Jays have dealt outfielder Steve Pearce and cash considerations to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor league shortstop, Santiago Espinal.

Espinal, 23, has slashed .287/.342/.385 with 30 stolen bases and 11 home runs since making his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Red Sox in 2016.

The right-handed hitting product of Santiago, D.R. has posted an OPS of .840 through 65 games with the class-A Salem Red Sox this season and had accounted for the third highest batting average (.313) in the Carolina League prior to Thursday's deal.

A former 10th-round draft pick, Espinal will now join an infield heavy minor league system, slotting in behind Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Richard Urena and Bo Bichette on the organizational depth chart at short.

Best remembered for launching two walk-off grand slams over the course of one week in 2017, Pearce slashed .291/.349/.519 with four home runs in 26 games with the Blue Jays this season.

The emergence of Teoscar Hernandez, coupled with a stable of talented minor league outfielders down in triple-A Buffalo, had diminished the 35-year-old journeyman's role on the Blue Jays in 2018.

With Pearce in the final half of a two-year, $12.5-million pact, Thursday's transaction was made as an attempt to extract some controllable value out of an expiring contract. 

Landing with the Red Sox, Pearce has now been featured on the 40-man roster for each of the five American League East ballclubs.

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Andrew Hendriks

Born in southern Ontario during the late 1980's, Hendriks had a front row seat to watch the Blue Jays reach the pinnacle in '92/'93 as a child, an experience that only bolstered this Canadian's love for the "American Game." Having played since before his memory allows access too, his passion for Baseball grew over years of emulating his heroes on the local sandlots, memorizing the backs of chewing gum scented cards and travelling across North America to experience as many aspects of the game as possible. In 2009, Hendriks began volunteering at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a Weekend Tour Guide. By 2010, he was hired on to help curate for the museum & Instruct the fundamentals of the game along side such legends as Tony Fernandez, Roberto Alomar and Jim Fanning during the Hall's annual Kids On Deck program. Following the 2011 season, Hendriks began blogging and co-hosting a weekly podcast for www.BackInBlue.ca, a Blue Jays themed website ran by fans, for fans. Looking to continue connecting with baseball fans across the country, Hendriks is excited to join such a strong team at the Canadian Baseball Network and looks forward to chipping in.