According to reports, A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox pending a physical. He had the opportunity to go elsewhere, but decided on going with Red Sox’ model of more money and shorter terms. He is due to get about $8 million.
It appears as though many fans have very mixed feelings about this signing. Pierzynski has a reputation for being not well liked in baseball, and he seems to relish being a player that people love to hate. However, when you ask a lot of his teammates, you actually get a very different story. He is considered a stand-up guy who plays the game hard and is very competitive.
Wow, that is just like pretty much everyone else on this team, which just happened to be World Champions.
He reminds me a lot of Dustin Pedroia in that regard. If Pedroia is on your team, you absolutely love him. If he is playing against you, he tends to rub you the wrong way. That has to do a lot with his confidence and competitive spirit, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Pierzynski is just more misunderstood than anything else.
There are enough leaders in that clubhouse so that if Pierzynski does get a bit out of control, someone will pull him back and tell him how to do things in Boston. As well, manager John Farrell commands a lot of respect, so he will not be afraid to use his authority. Pierzynski should have little to no problem fitting in. There are a number of current Red Sox players who have played with him that have vouched for his character.
He is also a very good catcher and much better defensively than Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He has consistently finished in the top four in the AL in catching baserunners. Saltalamacchia got significantly better, but Pierzynski is still one of the best defensively. He can still hit and can be a very potent left-handed power bat.
I think this also says how much faith the Red Sox have in their young catching prospects. They believe that they have some solid future major league players at that position as shown by the one-year contract offered to Pierzynski.
I never cared for him much before, but it should be very interesting to see what he does in a Boston uniform. Wait until he does something against the New York Yankees. Red Sox Nation will probably fall in love with him at that point.