Boston Red Sox’ Opening Day Catcher Should Be A.J. Pierzynski
There have long been rumors this offseason of the Boston Red Sox possibly trading with the Cincinnati Reds for Ryan Hanigan, but the Red Sox can get a starting catcher without parting with anything. A.J. Pierzynski would be a perfect fit for the Red Sox.
Despite being 37 for the 2014 season, Pierzynski has played at least 110 games in each of the past 13 seasons and has done so at a very high level. Outside of a slight dip in on-base percentage, his 2013 season was right on par with his career averages.
The Red Sox have a recent history of utilizing switch hitting catchers, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek before him, but will not have that luxury in 2014. Instead, adding the left handed Pierzynski would serve as the perfect platoon complement to right handed hitting David Ross.
The Red Sox are not interested in shelling out long term deals this offseason, as demonstrated by the current stall in negotiations with Jonny Gomes and the lack of negotiations with now New York Yankee Brian McCann. Pierzynski would not be looking for a long term deal, given his age, and could be a fantastic guy for the young catchers in the system — Chrisitian Vazquez and Blake Swihart — to work alongside this spring.
The Red Sox are in an unusual predicament. They just won the World Series and have a stacked farm system. They have plenty of talent at the Major League level to make them competitive this season but also have young talent on the verge of the big leagues ready to get big league experience. The lone position where there is still a gap in time before the minor league talent is ready to see the bigs is at catcher, and Pierzynski would be a great fit to bridge that gap.