The Boston Red Sox are said to have some interest in free-agent catcher A.J Pierzynski, write Rob Bradford of WEEI.com who cites a major league source. The level of interest is not mentioned from Bradford but given the rumors that the Sox are also interested in free-agent Brian McCann as well as the possibility of re-signing Jarrod Saltalamacchia, one would have to say the Pierzynski interest is minimal.
His numbers last season were decent posting a .272 batting average with a .722 OPS to go with 17 home runs and 70 RBI in 134 games for the Texas Rangers. Bradford notes that his defensive game has diminished over the past few years and given his age, it’s difficult to argue that he’s a fit for the Red Sox.
Then again, throw in the relatively low-cost contract that the Red Sox could possibly get him for and suddenly Pierzynski isn’t a bad option. He is coming off a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers that had a price tag of $7.5 million. It’s hard to fathom he’ll get a significant raise from that amount but a two-year deal may not be out of the question either.
The Red Sox could look at Pierzynski as a bridge gap and sign him to a one-year contract until Ryan Lavarnway proves worthy of the big leagues or other internal/external options present themselves.
Our friends at Over the Monster remind us though that the Red Sox should avoid the former White Sox catcher at any and all cost. Their reasoning is simple. He has a reputation of being a bad teammate and not to mention, he has the distinct honor of being considered one of the most hated players in the game. OTM mentions Jake Peavy as an example who would have first hand knowledge of Pierzynski’s antics after having a run in with him during their time in Chicago.
The chemistry in the Red Sox clubhouse is as good as you can get when hearing of how tight this group of players were last season. So why mess with a good thing and bring in a known clubhouse cancer? It would be a foolish move by Cherington if he were to explore the Pierzynski option any further than the “kicking tires stage” and let’s hope the interest is nothing more than that.