A.J. Pierzynski Joins Rangers

I’m not sure how this slipped by my eagle eye on the Hot Stove, but the Texas Rangers have signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

The veteran backstop agreed to a one-year, $7.5M contract. The story on MLB.com states “Pierzynski comes in with a chance to be the Rangers’ No. 1 catcher or form a platoon with Geovany Soto.” Really? A ‘chance’? What am I missing? Is Soto turning into a young Johnny Bench when spring training arrives?

Pierzynski had a career year in 2012, swatting 27 HR and posting a .827 OPS. I know he turns 36 next week and is not the greatest defensive catcher, but gee whiz — what more does a catcher have to do to gain respect?

The MLB-wide blow-off of Pierzynski is fascinating. Was it his age? His proclivity to speak his mind? Do people think he’s on PEDs?

Remember, this is a market that handed Mike Napoli three years and $39M. And Pierzynski gets one year, $7.5M?

Before the deal that brought Travis D’Arnaud to the Mets, I thought Pierzynski would have been a fine stopgap backstop for the Mets, but figured he’d be way out of their budget. And likely, it would’ve taken another year and a few more dollars for Pierzynski to sign with the Mets instead of Texas. But I look now and wonder — if he would’ve signed for two years and around $10M, do you sign Pierzynski or Scott Hairston? Even with D’Arnaud in the fold, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to have Pierzynski around — it would be similar Bengie Molina‘s last season with the Giants. Buster Posey had to play his way out of AAA and force Molina out, rather than have the pressure of joining the Giants perhaps too early. Would it be so bad to have an extra, championship-winning catcher with a big bat on the roster around the July deadline?

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know – the Mets already have too many lefties in their lineup, blah blah blah. As if it matters. John Buck is around to hit against the LHPs.

But that’s water under the bridge. Still, worth discussing while we wait for Santa to come down the chimney. What’s your thought? Could it have made sense to sign Pierzynski to a one-year or two-year deal, if it fell within the Mets’ means? Why or why not? Post in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. mike B December 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm
    You know I think the Mets offered him 1.5 million for 2013 and were “shocked” he went for 7 million. Sandy keeps an eye on what the Long Island Ducks are spending and he doesnt understand how the rest of league is spending so much money.
    • Hobie December 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm
      Ducks will be more fun to watch this hear
      • Dan B December 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm
        That is not a fair comment. The Long Island Ducks are from the NYC metro area and, as such, are a big market team. The Mets can not compete with big to mid market teams. Even some of the upper small market teams can steal players from us (Damn those Yakult Swallows for swooping up Lasting Milledge!).
        I have been on record as saying I prefer to leave prospects in the minors and make them earn the promotion to the bigs. The fundamentals in all of the major leagues seem to be missing. Having D`Arnaud in the majors in early May will not be the difference in the Mets making the playoffs, so let’s leave him in the minors for his benefit. The Mets are all about developing young players, after all.
        • Izzy December 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm
          You know this dude has been in the minors since 2007? Six years in the minors and he needs more tuning? Something smells rotten. Does he even have more options left?
          PS: Happy holidays.
  2. friend December 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm
    Also, you can take John Maine off the table.
  3. NormE December 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm
    Santa is not bringing the Mets any presents that cost more than 1.5 million.

    Merry Christmas to all.