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Mets trade rumors: Mets like Steve Pearce, but price probably too high

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The utility player could be a good fit but might not be attainable for a price that works for the Mets.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays are very likely to trade utility player Steve Pearce before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline. The Mets like Pearce, but the cost to acquire him from Tampa is probably too high.

The 33-year-old Pearce signed a one-year, $4.75 million contract with the Rays in late January. After spending parts of the 2007-2011 seasons with the Pirates, he hit free agency, and in 2012, he bounced around from the Twins—for whom he never played a regular season game—to the Yankees to the Orioles to the Astros to the Yankees to the Orioles.

Pearce finally got regular playing time with Baltimore in 2014, and he broke out with a .293/.373/.556 line, 21 home runs, and a 161 wRC+ in 383 plate appearances. He dropped to a .218/.289/.422 line with a 91 wRC+ last year but has bounced back very nicely this year at .312/.384/.528 and a 148 wRC+. A right-handed hitter, Pearce has a career 133 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers and a 99 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers. In that regard, he’d be a good complement to the Mets’ heavily-left-handed starting lineup.

Defensively, Pearce has played nearly everywhere in the past couple of seasons: first, second, and third bases and both corner outfielder positions. Trying to read much into his defensive metrics is tough since the sample sizes are small at almost every position, but he’s rated as a scratch or slightly positive defender at every position.