The champion Boston Red Sox have decided to fill their catching needs with 37-year-old veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski. As CBS sports reports on December 3, the Sox and Pierzynski have agreed to a one-year deal.
The move means the team will part ways with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and go with a tandem of Pierzynski and catcher David Ross until their young catching prospects are ready. Pierzynski, like Ross, is respected for his game-calling and ability to handle a staff and also has a little pop offensively.
The only question with Pierzynski is how he will fit in the clubhouse character wise. The veteran catcher was once named one of the most hated players in baseball and has a league-wide reputation for having a difficult personality, but David Ortiz, once a teammate of Pierzynski’s while in Minnesota, thinks highly of his new teammate as both a player and a teammate.
The Sox recently lost out on a couple free agent catchers they had on their radars, most notably Bob McCann who signed with the rival New York Yankees.
A.J. Pierzynski is a two-time All-Star and is a lifetime .322 hitter at Fenway Park. Last season with the Texas Rangers, he hit 17 homers with 70 RBIs.