The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a one-year contract with catcher A.J. Pierzynski, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. Buster Olney of ESPN.com notes that the deal is worth $8.25 million and is pending a physical.
The addition of Pierzynski signals the end of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's tenure with the Red Sox. The team has shown consistent interest in retaining Saltalamacchia all offseason, but did not seem willing to offer him a two-year deal. Pierzynski will provide the Sox with a veteran leader behind the plate to share time with David Ross. The 36-year-old hit .272/.297/.425, providing the Rangers with essentially average offense from the catching position last season.
For the Red Sox, the choice of Pierzynski over Saltalamacchia may also signal confidence in catching prospects Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart as the team's future behind the plate. Vazquez hit .287/.375/.391 between Double-A and Triple-A last season and his defense is considered to be excellent. Swihart was the Red Sox first round pick in 2011, and he impressed propsect experts with a .298/.366/.428 line and solid defense at High-A Salem last year.
With Pierzynski going to Boston, there is one less suitor for Saltalamacchia and teams with interest in the 28-year-old backstop are likely to move quickly to secure his services.
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