The Toronto Blue Jays signed utility player Steve Pearce, a former Gamecock, to a two-year contract worth $12.5 million.
The Blue Jays announced the move Monday. They were in need of a first baseman and corner outfielders, and might not sign free agents Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Michael Saunders.
Pearce hit .288 with 13 home runs in 85 games for Tampa Bay and Baltimore last season. He hit a career-high 21 homers in 2014 with Baltimore. The right-handed hitter can play first and second base as well as left and right field.
In two seasons in Columbia, Pearce hit .352 with 42 home runs and 133 RBIs. He twice led the team in all three categories, and was on a College World Series all-tournament team, NCAA regional all-tournament team, earned an NCAA Regional MVP and earned All-America honors.