I’ve long considered A.J. Pierzynski one of the most annoying players in baseball, and that has quite a bit to do with the strutting bravado he has employed so often throughout his career. Pierzynski’s been quiet for a little while now, though, and he’s coming off one of the best seasons of his career. The Rangers have signed the catcher to a one-year deal worth $7.5 million, and while that may not reduce the sting of missing out on the big names, it certainly fills a need and keeps payroll from soaring into orbit, or as I like to call it, “Los Angeles.”
Pierzynski showed a surge of power in the first half of the 2012 season, hitting 16 homers and slugging .527 for the White Sox. While he slowed down as the year progressed, the end result was still a .278/.326/.501 line and a career-best 27 long balls, and his face stayed blissfully clear of Michael Barrett’s fist. Pierzynski will get some help in masking his deficiencies by playing half his games in Arlington, but it’s still doubtful he reaches the same heights again given how poor some of his recent seasons have been. A more likely outcome is something a bit more provocative than his career .284/.324/.429 career line.
Pierzynski isn’t ever going to just let a pitch go by without hacking at it, but he’s always managed to post relatively high batting averages and power numbers given his position. His 2013 is likely to fall closer to his 2012 than his 2011 if nothing else for the fact that he’s hitting in a friendlier environment. Texas was right to make sure this contract for the almost 36-year-old was only a year long, and the value of it should work out just fine. As I literally always say, even if it doesn’t at least it’s a short-term thing. Maybe relationships should have contracts, too!