R.A. Dickey and his trade to the Blue Jays may be dominating the news cycle, but we are far from being finished with players moving teams this offseason. For weeks it’s been reported that the Texas Rangers are among the teams interested in free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and those reports gained some traction with the catcher meeting with the club in Texas on Tuesday.
At the moment, Giovanni Soto is the catcher at the top Rangers depth chart, and adding Pierzynski makes a whole lot of sense for a team looking to somehow replace the production of Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. While adding Pierzynski won’t come close to replacing Hamilton, he could give the Rangers some favorable matchups when it comes to facing righties and lefties.
After spending his career with the Twins, Giants and then White Sox and he had a career year with Chicago last season. In his 2012 campaign, Pierzynski hit .278 with 27 homers and an .827 OPS in 135 games.
Every team wants a good catcher, but not many are chasing after guys in their mid-30’s coming off a year that could be interpreted as a fluke. But Pierzynski has made a career out of playing really good when no one expects him to, and that’s exactly what the Rangers are looking for, but unlike his trips to San Francisco and Chicago, the 35-year old is expected to produce at a relatively high level on a consistent basis right away.
Not that this wasn’t expected of Pierzynski at his other stops, but he wasn’t a headline signing either. He was traded from Minnesota to San Francisco and then picked up by the White Sox, who viewed him as a guy who could settle in and be consistent. The need for Pierzynski to be good now is high and it’s a task he’s been waiting for his whole career.