2012 Winter Meetings: New York Yankees on verge of signing catcher A.J. Pierzynski
After losing last years’ starting catcher Russell Martin to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees need a starting catcher. No better time to go after one than when all the General Managers in MLB are under one roof.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Yankees are in talks with AJ Pierzynski to add a veteran catcher to their very green backstop.
The 35-year old Pierzynski is coming off a career year, with the Chicago White Sox, batting .278 with 27 home runs. Its likely Pierzynski could take advantage of the short porch at Yankee Stadium and can add more than just his experience at the plate.
The Yankees biggest need is the catching position and letting Mike Napoli go was the right move. Pierzynski is a very skilled defensive catcher, and unlike most of the aging Yankee stars, Pierzynski has been one of the most durable catchers in all of baseball, being on the DL only once in his career.
Some may argue that Pierzynski reached his peak in 2012, having one of his strongest seasons, but he is the best option for the Yankees and will fit in well with the team.
His left-handed swing and power are exactly what the Yankees need and this would be a great move. Pierzynski would give the Yankees power, but he is also a great contact hitter, which could really help the back end of the Yankees lineup.
The best part for Brian Cashman and the Yankees is Pierzynski’s willingness to sign a one-year deal, to play for the contender he is said to believe the Yankees are. This, along with some other big deals possibly on the way, would make it seem like the Yankees are on the right track. As other teams are paying average players enormous salaries, Cashman is sticking to his guns and still putting the Yankees in position to compete in the AL East.
Pierzynski’s experience handling pitchers and calling games is a big strength, as he would be an upgrade from Martin; much better and cheaper than Napoli, who was overpriced, especially for a guy that’s not even a full-time catcher.
The Yankees seem to be moving in the right direction and that is a positive for all Yankee fans. As day two is coming to an end, the Yankees may have just accomplished exactly what they had wanted to at the Winter Meetings, or they may surprise the whole city and be just getting started. So before everyone anoints the Toronto Blue Jays the best team in the American League, the Yankees are looking to remind the league that the AL title goes through the Bronx.
With all the heat Cashman takes, he seems to always have some method to his madness and is likely not done, as the Yankees are staring to just warm up the stove.