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MLB Chicago White Sox

MLB Rumors: 5 Possible Catchers For The Chicago White Sox To Replace AJ Pierzynski

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MLB Rumors: 5 Catchers For The Chicago White Sox

Chicago
Rick Osentoski-US Presswire

It seems like A.J. Pierzynski won’t be returning to the Chicago White Sox in 2013. Although both parties have been negotiating, as the days go by the chances of seeing Pierzynski back in Chicago are slim.

Pierzynski is rated the number 2 free agent catcher right now with most scouts and experts behind Mike Napoli. This means that Pierzynski is already being coveted and is going to want a huge payday. This is something that the White Sox can’t afford.

The White Sox already are trying to desperately resign Kevin Youkilis. With that being said the money that could be used to sign Pierzynski would be used to sign Youkilis.

Pierzynski has already said that he isn’t going to take a “hometown” discount this time around. He wants to make as much money as he can. He is also coming off of a career year where he hit a career high in home runs and batting average. He also won a Silver Slugger award making him even more valuable.

First of all, White Sox fans can forever be thankful for Pierzynski helping the White Sox win the World Series in 2005. That can never be taken away and he will always be remembered for that. I think that Pierzynski will always be a favorite in Chicago. With that being said, in today’s MLB players don’t tend to be on a team forever.

So what now White Sox Fans? Should you panic? No of course not. It’s not the end of the world if Pierzynski leaves.

There are some other options at catcher. I wanted to take a look at one that is an internal candidate, one possible trade candidate, and then a few free agents.

Let me know what you think be sure to follow me on Twitter @EvanCrum1319

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Tyler Flowers

Flowers
Jerry Lai-US Presswire

Flowers is the obvious replacement candidate for Pierzynski. He has been with the White Sox since 2009 after the White Sox traded for him. He knows the pitching staff and a lot of White Sox pitchers have said that they have preferred throwing to Flowers over Pierzynski. Flowers is a superb defensive catcher, something that is better than what Pierzynski did.

I wouldn’t point to Flowers batting average of .213 for 2012 he only played in 52 games and 49 of those were at catcher. I believe that if Flowers has the chance to start he will do well.

The White Sox have to give him a chance because they have been talking about him for the last couple years that he can play everyday.

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Jarrod
Bob DeChiara-US Presswire

Saltalamacchia is currently on the Boston Red Sox. However, during the General Manager meetings in California rumors were that the Red Sox were interested in trading Saltalamacchia. The Red Sox are even more willing to trade him after signing David Ross. The White Sox were one of the teams that came up as an interested party.

Saltalamacchia had a bad year for the Red Sox. Then again who didn’t in 2012 for the Red Sox? He hit .222 and drove in 59 runs. In six years in the league Saltalamacchia has only hit .239. He is still young at 27 and is one year older then Flowers.

I don’t know if he would be the best fit for the White Sox, they already have Flowers who is 26 and is a better defensive catcher. If the White Sox trade for him then that means that they have given up on Flowers and have given up on their minor league catchers. I don’t see the trade happening.

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Mike Napoli

Mike
Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

Napoli is the number one free agent catcher. He would fit in with the White Sox. He is a great offensive catcher. He may have only hit .227 in 2012 but in 2011 he hit .320. In 2012 he drove in 56 runs and hit 24 home runs. His offensive stats would replace Pierzynski’s.

Napoli is 30 and I think he would be worth the money as long as he isn’t asking for a boatload. If the White Sox can sign Napoli for three to four years, depending on how much Napoli wants, then they should sign him.

It would also give the White Sox time to bring Josh Phegley up. It might even help Phegley by being behind a veteran like Napoli.

This isn’t a pipe dream for the White Sox, they could make it happen. Having Napoli on the roster would increase the likelihood of the White Sox being competitive again in the AL Central.

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Kelly Shoppach

Kelly
Steve Mitchell- US Presswire

Shoppach would be an interesting signing for the White Sox.

His numbers in 2012 don’t leap out but he also played in two different leagues. He was with the Red Sox and also played for the New York Mets. In 2012 he hit .233, and drove in 17 runs.

Shoppach has been a career backup. However when given the chance to start consistently he doesn’t disappoint. In 2008 he started in 94 games for the Cleveland Indians where he hit .261 his best year in the MLB.

It is a gamble if the White Sox sign Shoppach. If they want to roll the dice and tell Shoppach he can start and he is willing to do it for not a lot of money then it might be worth the risk.

It could be a win for the White Sox. If Shoppach plays like he did in 2008 then the White Sox have a decent everyday catcher. If he doesn’t and plays mediocre then Flowers could take over. The White Sox would then have a veteran backup catcher.

Then again if both Shoppach and Flowers both have bad years then the gamble doesn’t work.

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Miguel Olivo

Miguel
Steven Bisig-US Presswire

Here is a name I don’t think I would see again with the White Sox.

Remember Olivo? He played for the White Sox from 2002-2004 and was traded for Freddy Garcia and Ben Davis. The White Sox won out on that trade since Garcia helped the White Sox win the World Series in 2005.

Olivo’s offensive statistics don’t leap off the page. He only hit .222 in 2012 for the Seattle Mariners and his best year was in 2010 when he hit .269 for the Colorado Rockies.

However, what Olivo lacks in offense he makes up for in defense. He is one of the premier defensive catchers in the MLB.

Olivo has been in the league for 11 years and is 33. If the White Sox sign Olivo then they can hope to catch lightening in a bottle. Perhaps Olivo will play like he did in 2010.

Olivo would be a stop gap perhaps signing a one or two year deal, making way for Flowers and Phegley.

It would cap off a decent career for Olivo. Plus it would be pretty neat for Olivo to end up where he started and end his career with the White Sox.