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Pearce traded to Red Sox for Minor League IF

Injury updates: Sanchez, Sweeney
MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays on Thursday dealt utility man Steve Pearce and cash to the Red Sox in exchange for Minor League infielder Santiago Espinal, the club announced.

Espinal, 23, hit .313 with 15 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 32 RBIs in 65 games with Class A Advanced Salem. The Dominican-born shortstop was a 10th-round Draft pick of the Red Sox out of Lyman High School (Longwood, Fla.) in 2016.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays on Thursday dealt utility man Steve Pearce and cash to the Red Sox in exchange for Minor League infielder Santiago Espinal, the club announced.

Espinal, 23, hit .313 with 15 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 32 RBIs in 65 games with Class A Advanced Salem. The Dominican-born shortstop was a 10th-round Draft pick of the Red Sox out of Lyman High School (Longwood, Fla.) in 2016.

"Middle-of-the-diamond players, you can't have enough of them," Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said Friday. "The athleticism, that's where it all begins. If you can play in the middle, you can often play anywhere else, so that's first and foremost. [Espinal] is an above-average runner and performing well at a decent level, so there's plenty to like."

Atkins said the trade came together quickly on Thursday night. Steve Sanders, the Blue Jays' director of amateur scouting, was with the Red Sox when Espinal was drafted.

Pearce, 35, hit .291 (23-for-79) with six doubles, four home runs and 16 RBIs in 26 games with Toronto this year. The Blue Jays signed Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million prior to the 2017 season.

A 12-year Major League veteran, Pearce is joining his seventh organization. Upon his first game with Boston, he will have played for every American League East club. In addition to spending the past two seasons in Toronto, he previously played for the Orioles (2012, '13-15, '16), Yankees ('12) and Rays ('16).

Pearce was selected by the Twins in the 45th round of the 2003 Draft, and the Red Sox in the 10th round in '04, but did not sign with either, eventually joining the Pirates as an eighth-rounder out of the University of South Carolina in '05.

Sanchez not throwing yet
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said prior to Friday's series opener against the Tigers that pitcher Aaron Sanchez has not thrown yet. He is on the 10-day disabled list with a finger contusion on his pitching hand.

"It's not looking good for Monday," Gibbons said, adding that Sanchez may try to throw Saturday. "It's still just a little bit tender."

Sweeney selected to roster
The Blue Jays selected utility man Darnell Sweeney to their active roster ahead of Friday's game, taking the place of Pearce.

Gibbons said that Sweeney was chosen for his versatility. The 27-year-old has played shortstop, second base, third base and both corner outfield spots this season with Triple-A Buffalo.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Keegan Matheson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto.

Toronto Blue Jays, Steve Pearce, Aaron Sanchez, Darnell Sweeney