The Cardinals have agreed to a major league contract with catcher A.J. Pierzynski, according to a report fromJon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was the first to report that the sides were working on a deal.
Pierzynski, who was recently designated for assignment and subsequently released by the Red Sox, will take over as the Cardinals' starting catcher in place of Yadier Molina, who will be out with a thumb injury for the majority of the rest of the season. St. Louis has been relying on Tony Cruz and recent waiver claim George Kottaras, and are likely to part ways with Kottaras to make room for Pierzynski on the active roster.
The Cardinals were showing interest in trade options like Kurt Suzuki, but the addition of Pierzynski will almost surely eliminate their chances of adding a catcher at the trade deadline.
Pierzynski, 37, hit .254/.286/.348 with four home runs in 72 games with the Red Sox on the season after signing a one-year, $8.25 million contract last winter. The Cardinals will pay him the league minimum salary for his services, with the Red Sox paying the roughly $2.75 million left on his salary for this year.