A.J. Pierzynski’s Next Contract

Look ahead to the catchers who could be free agents after the season, and you'll probably notice Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez. But A.J. Pierzynski will hit the market too and he'll have a case for a multi-year deal if he's as consistent as usual. 

That doesn't mean the White Sox won't bring him back, though. GM Kenny Williams told the Chicago Sun-Times that the team will check in with Pierzynski's representation at some point this season and the catcher has maintained that he would like to re-sign with the White Sox. If not, Tyler Flowers, now 24, could take on a bigger role.

Pierzynski has been remarkably durable and consistent this decade. He averaged 132 games and 12 homers per season from 2001-09, posting a .753 OPS. He's been worth two wins per season more than a replacement level catcher during his White Sox career. That beats Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Kendall and Bengie Molina (though WAR's analysis of catcher defense is incomplete). Those three catchers are also older than Pierzynski, who is just 33, but they all got guaranteed contracts worth $4.5MM or more.

That proves that teams are willing to pay for dependable catchers, even if they're in their mid to late thirties. As a 33-year-old with a history of health and a decent bat, Pierzynski should be in position to command a multi-year deal, even if though it won't approach the one Joe Mauer will sign.

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