Steve Pearce #28 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 11, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Steve Pearce #28 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 11, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Rays reportedly have signed former Orioles outfielder Steve Pearce to a one-year deal, which allows him to play near his hometown of Lakeland, Fla., and remain in the American League East. But it wouldn't shock anybody if he dons an Orioles uniform again in the future.

He remains a favorite of Orioles manager Buck Showalter and he already has been in and out of Baltimore a few times. His contract was purchased from the Yankees in June 2012 and then claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros a few months later. His contract was bought back by the Yankees in August of that year and claimed off waivers by the Orioles in September.

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If that was a strange sojourn, it got stranger when he was released by the Orioles in April 2014, then re-signed as a free agent days later after he turned down a waiver claim by the Blue Jays. He went on to have a breakout year in 2014, but was not able to follow up on his strong numbers last season.

Pearce pretty much got lost in the Orioles' free agent shuffle this winter and had to find a job, but the fact that he has agreed to a one-year deal (pending physical) means that he could end up being waived by the Rays at some point this year and reclaimed by the O's.

That's certainly unlikely, but Pearce has written the book on unlikely player movement, so don't put your Steve Pearce T-shirt into the rag basket. You might need it again someday.

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