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It seemed as if yesterday the baseball gods wanted every player on the market to go, well at least from the catcher’s perspective.
A.J. Pierzynski inked a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox worth about $8.25 million early on Tuesday morning. The former Texas Ranger hit .272 with 17 home runs and 70 RBI in 2013, and has been a consistent offensive and defensive weapon over the course of his career. His lowest career average was .257.
Later on Tuesday night, Jarrod Saltalamacchia signed a three-year contract with the Miami Marlins worth $21 million, or $7 million each season. Salty is a switch-hitting catcher who started to find an offensive home in Boston with a career year in 2013 with 40 doubles, 14 homers and 65 runs batted in with a .273 average.
The Pierzynski deal came out of nowhere for the Red Sox and it probably became more important because Saltalamacchia and the Red Sox could not come to terms on a three-year contract. The Red Sox wanted to only go two years since there are several prospects in the wings who need to get more reps over the next couple of seasons in Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez.
Salty would have been a great option since he knows the pitching staff and is basically a left-handed bat because he is not great from the right side. However, Pierzynski is a veteran catcher who can fill the void until the young guys are ready to play on an everyday basis.
Sure, there may be issues with the 36-year-old with competitiveness and keeping a cool during each at-bat or pitch he is catching. But all that “bad attitude” makes it so other teams hate him and he shouldn;t affect the chemistry of this clubhouse going forward. Plus, if everything works out, then he could be back for one more season on another one-year deal if the prospects are not yet ready to play in the big leragues.