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A.J. Pierzynski, Rangers agree to one-year, $7.5 million contract

Dec 20, 2012, 5:31 PM EDT

A.J. Pierzynski Getty Images

UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears that Pierzynski’s one-year deal is worth $7.5 million.

5:31 PM: T.R. Sullivan of says it’s a done deal, with the physical exam slated for tomorrow.


A.J. Pierzynski has regularly been linked to the Rangers for the past couple weeks and now Ken Rosenthal of reports that the two sides are “closing in on a one-year contract.”

According to Rosenthal the deal is not yet agreed upon and would be pending a physical exam.

Texas has been looking for catching help since Mike Napoli left as a free agent and getting Pierzynski for a one-year commitment coming off a career-year would be a nice pickup given speculation that he was searching for multiple years.

At age 35 he’s highly unlikely to duplicate his 2012 numbers, which included 27 homers after never hitting more than 18 before, but even a return to his normal production would be a nice fit in the Rangers’ mostly right-handed lineup and they have a good platoon partner for Pierzynski in Geovany Soto.

  1. approvenothing - Dec 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I’m not to sure if the Rangers have any good catchers in their farm system. Even if they do, a 2Year 25Million dollar deal would be good for the rangers in their division.

  2. donkeydrew - Dec 20, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    will be intresting to see how the most disliked player in the league will mesh with the rangers

  3. mikeinthevine - Dec 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    The biggest A-hole in Major League baseball.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:59 AM

      What about El Hombre?

  4. rangermania - Dec 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    WOW! GREAT JD! Now go get Kyle and Nick to round out a super team.

  5. Gordon - Dec 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Sad to see him leave the Sox. He played great for them. He is a major A-hole to opposing teams, but I don’t care about that. He was apparently a great teammate on the Sox & a major reason they won the WS.

    • sportsfanjay - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      Yep. I am not ready to see Tyler Flowers full time. A.J. is “hated” cuz he wants to win more than most and will offend people who don’t like how he expresses that. Love the guy and will miss #12 squatting. Hope he receives a HUGE ovation when he returns to Chicago in August.

      • jdd428 - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        All he got was a year at $7.5m and the Sox let him go to give Flowers a chance? They could have found room in the budget for $8.5m for a year or $16m for two and not get stuck with the failed prospect that Flowers is. Bad move, Hahn.

  6. cackalackyank - Dec 20, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    In other news, the Yankees have been looking at inflatable backstops on both Amazon and e-bay.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 20, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      Inflatable backstops and Pierzinski have the same defensive ratings.

  7. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Dec 20, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Yes, AJ is not a very liked individual, but the Rangers REALLY needed a seasoned catcher and a left-handed batter.

  8. miketreedy - Dec 20, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    I really like Napoli but AJ is a great replacement. Not sure the dollar amount but it has to beat the 3 years $38m the Red Sox gave to Napoli. Plus AJ is a lefty so he should continue putting up good HR numbers in the Rangers ballpark. So a good signing.

    • miketreedy - Dec 20, 2012 at 10:52 PM

      A one year deal for $7.5m for AJ is much better than 3 years for $38 for Napoli. That is a no brainier. They are very similar players except AJ is a lefty which is an advantage in Arlington.

      • yodougmurphy - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

        Pierzynski is a 35-year-old with a career OPS+ of 96. Napoli is 30 with a career OPS+ of 126. I agree that it’s a solid signing for the Rangers but I think you have to squint real hard to see the two as similar players.

      • miketreedy - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        Yes – but your are including the two great years Napoli got to hit in Texas. Now AJ gets that chance. Also, Napoli due to health concerns is only seen as a part time catcher (will mostly play 1B for Sox). Napoli is younger but has more health concerns (bad hip). AJ played 135 games as catcher last year. Both are average defensive catchers but both do a pretty good job calling games. They are in the same ballpark.

  9. danucks604 - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:52 AM

    Rangers keep getting worse and worse.

  10. uyf1950 - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Seems like a good deal for the Rangers, 1 yr/$7.5MM. If he plays anywhere near close to his 2012 season it’s a bargain. If he plays like he did in 2010 and 2011 it isn’t. But that’s the gamble every team takes when they sign a player. But like a couple of the previous posters said regardless it beats the $39MM deal the Sox and Napoli agreed on and appears now to be in some sort of limbo.

  11. stex52 - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    The question is more what else can the Rangers do to shore up their hitting? I agree that Pierziynski for one year is – all else being equal – a better deal. But the Rangers have the money and need the hitting. What’s their next move?

    In the meantime, get out the garlic, crosses and wooden stakes! The Dark Catcher is here.

  12. roverkarlthecannedham - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    O good. Mr. Martins replacement at last. This and the signing of Ichiro Suzuki should set up the Yankees for the upcoming season.

    AJ Peirzinski – well that takes some spelling. “A.J. Pierzynski”. Got it. I think. Good luck Mr. Peirzkafhasjhfhu;4e

    – damn.

  13. jlovenotjlo - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Thanks for the memories AJ. All a-hole things aside, one of the smartest players in the game. Ill never, ever forget the drop 3rd strike in the ALCS. For the 1st time in his career, AJ will be wildly cheered when he enters an opposing ballpark this season, his return to the Cell.

  14. lionsplayoffs - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    I know since I’m a Tigers fan I’m supposed to hate this guy, but I also like hard-nosed ballplayers. He’s not afraid of anything and he’s a good hitting catcher. I’m certainly glad he’s out of our division. And the past two years he’s done a great job in the booth for the playoffs. I hope he does that full time when he retires.

  15. metroplexfrog - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Good move by the Rangers and, hopefully, a good one for AJ too. One year deal works well for both sides.

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