I’ve personally been curious why A.J. Pierzynski hasn’t flown off the shelf this free agent season. The numbers are there, especially for a catcher (.278, 28 HR, AL Silver Slugger). 128 or more games for 11 straight years. He’s a consummate catcher in terms of pitching management and working the strike zone for his pitcher. He’ll even work dropped strike three calls and runner interference if you ask him to.
But there are some red flags. he’s been described as a “clubhouse cancer”, which surprises me because a) he’s been on a volatile White Sox team for eight years and been somewhat of a calming force and b) his presence in his TV work he strikes me as a guy who can relate to others, teammates, etc. He’s also 35 years old. How much more can his body hold out, can he keep up his 135 games per year streak?
So how does this fit into the Rangers? This is a clubhouse in turmoil. They’ve lost their superstar Josh Hamilton. They’ve lost their team captain in Michael Young. They’ve lost fan favorite Mike Napoli. Ian Kinsler seems like the next man up to be the leader. But a guy like Pierzynski could be someone who provides some postseason experience and guidance for a talented, but young staff (returning Harrison, Lewis, and Holland from the 2011 AL Champs, and Darvish from last year, they’ve got talent).
Word is that A.J. is going to maximize his situation, be it on a contender, for the most years (remember he’s 35) or best clubhouse. But the Rangers should certainly be on the short list.
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