Bon voyage – Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed on WEEI’s Dale & Holley Show this afternoon that catcher A.J. Pierzynski has been designated for assignment.
Pierzynski batted .254 for the Red Sox in 72 games this season, swatting just four home runs to go with 30 RBIs, and he’s been slumping lately at the plate. A free agent entering the offseason, Pierzynski was inked to a one-year, $8.25 million deal in December.
I’ll be honest – at the beginning of the season I thought A.J. was going to work out. Veteran catcher with a veteran staff with a veteran backup. Well we’re almost at the All Star break and the Red Sox are a hell of a lot closer to getting the #1 draft pick next year than they are to first place. Obviously this isn’t all on Pierzynski, but he sucks right now and he’s sucked all year and that didn’t help things. On the plus side, Christian Vasquez is a great defensive catcher who’s thrown out 40% of base stealers and is batting .280. And he’s 23. Youth movement in full force.
The deal is still pending a physical, but let’s roll out the welcome carpet anyway. It was clear the Sox wanted no part of a long term deal with Salty, and it’s hard to blame them after his performance in the postseason. After Mccann and Ruiz both signed elsewhere, Pierzynski was their next option. Low risk, high reward. One year deal for what’s probably a little above the veterans average. He is 37, but as ESPN Boston reports, he’s played in at least 125 games in every year since 2002. While all these numbers work for the Sox, his most important contributions won’t show up in the box scores this season. He’s a gamer, and he’s a winner. He’s already won a world series with the White Sox. He’s a little insane, which fits perfectly into the Red Sox mold. The most important thing is that Pierzynski, at 37 years old, still has something to prove. If he can mesh with Farrell and that clubhouse, 2014 should another exciting year.