December 4, 2013

MLB: Red Sox, Pierzynski complete deal

Catcher signs on for 1 year

(Continued from page 1)

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FILE - This 2013 file photo shows A.J. Pierzynski of the Texas Rangers baseball team. A person with knowledge of the negotiations says free-agent catcher Pierzynski is closing in on a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox. The deal would be pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, because the team hadn't finalized the agreement. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

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“What we’re looking at is a short-term situation that really points toward Vazquez and Swihart, that are coming,” Farrell said. “That doesn’t mean that in 2015 Vazquez is a starter, but it gives us the flexibility that if he makes another good step in the minors the next year, it’s the potential that a guy could step in.”

Cherington also said his goal was to make the 2014 team stronger without hindering flexibility in the future, an outlook that made a one-year deal for a veteran catcher more attractive than the three years Saltalamacchia got.

“We really appreciate everything he did,” Cherington said. “If reports are accurate, we’re happy for him that he gets a good deal. We wish him well, but we feel like A.J. is the right fit for us right now.”

Pierzynski batted .272 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs last season with Texas — the 13th season in a row in which he’s caught at least 110 games. In his career with the Twins, Giants, White Sox and Rangers, Pierzynski is a .283 hitter with 172 homers and 800 RBIs, with a .322 average in 33 games at Fenway Park.

“The combination of A.J. and Ross will allow that to be a position of strength for us, as it was this year,” Cherington said.

Pierzynski has caught two no-hitters, including Philip Humber’s perfect game April 21, 2012. He made the All-Star Game in 2002 and ‘06 and won the World Series with the White Sox in 2005. He has a .300 career average with five homers and 17 RBIs in the postseason.

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