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.


19 Responses to A.J. Pierzynski’s Next Contract Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 5 years ago

    I don’t know how easy it will be for A.J. to get a starting job when he hits the free agent market. Then again, The Royals did give Jason Kendall two years.

    • I think it will be REMARKABLY easy for AJ to find a starting gig and not only that it will be a multi-year deal.

  2. vtadave 5 years ago

    “Pierzynski should be in position to command a multi-year deal, even if though it won’t approach the one Joe Mauer will sign.”

    So you’re saying 2 yrs $9 million is less than 10 yrs $200 million give or take? :-)

  3. baconslayer09 5 years ago

    A.J.’s not coming back. Flowers is the next catcher of the organization and his future looks pretty good.

    I really enjoyed having A.J. in Chicago because you always hate him when he’s on the other team.

    A.J. should be able to find a job somewhere for $3-4 million a year for 2-3 years, hopefully in the NL.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      I think it has to be an AL team. I’m going to say a one year deal with either the Jays or Rays for 4MM.

    • I wouldn’t completely bank on “A.J. out / Flowers in.” The White Sox are looking at a “win-now” window for the 2 or 3 seasons. I wouldn’t be the least bit suprised if Flowers was used as trade bait this season.

      • lefty58 5 years ago

        Kenny desperately wants/needs to do something with Flowers before HGH testing starts in the minor leagues. Once a player has MLB time, he is exempt from minor league testing, so either Flowers is traded or brought up to circumvent the drug policy. One more bad drug result for Flowers and he has no value left.
        Flowers is a likely replacement for Konerko, but I would never expect to see him catch on a MLB team.

  4. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    I have never liked A.J. For some reason I thought he was a lot older than that though, so maybe he’ll get a nice deal. Numbers aren’t bad…ick he’s annoying though 😛

  5. empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

    this may be the only chance we get, post-cobb, to see “times punched” written into the incentive language of a contract.

  6. I think the white sox should not overlook how incredibly valuable AJ Pierzynski has been to this organization. It terms of managing a pitching staff and showing incredible baseball instincts and knowledge Pierzynski is TOP NOTCH! It honestly like having another manager out there on the field leading his staff in the right direction. All of his antics aside, AJ is an asset to the White Sox and one of the smartest signs they’ve ever made. I will say this, without AJ the sox would not have been in position to win that historic world series championship, I believe this to my core.

  7. soxluv 5 years ago

    I can’t imagine AJ in a non-Sox uniform.

  8. nelso139 5 years ago

    what you guys think of aj in a Seattle Mariners uniform? They need a decent hitting catcher still..

  9. 0vercast 5 years ago

    A.J. would be a welcome addition to just about any team. Mets maybe?

  10. lefty58 5 years ago

    If you just look at the ability to catch, AJ is as bad as they get. His throwing is not far behind.

    • lug 5 years ago

      Yeah you are just flat out wrong on this and i doubt you either watch or have ever watched him catch. Admit it you don’t like him it’s OK, he can deal with it. You mean nothing to him. Ha ha that was mean but seriously you prolly watch baseball like 4 times a year if you really believe this. White Sox SP’s over the past 5 years outside of Buehrle just were not good at holding runners. AJ’s arm is not powerful but his game management and abilities are top notch. Jose Contreras was slow motion to the plate and I might be able to pick up a few SB’s with that guy on the mound.

    • JimBaily 5 years ago

      As much as I hate to agree with you on this one, I am a season ticket holder with seats 10 rows off the field and half way to first base. Every game we bet on how many pitches AJ will handle clean per inning and it’s alway less than half of the opposing teams catcher. I used to try to defend his throwing abilities off on the pitching, but have seen him look bad with too many pitchers to defend him any more.

      AJ does though bring something to the game that many catchers don’t, he calls a good game and is reasonably good with the bat. Somehow he makes the most out of his abilities and does bring a value to his team every game.

  11. Here is what I can see happening. Kenny checks in with his agent and they give a home town discount for a 3 year deal and AJ is doing great like he did last year.

    They then trade flowers mid season for a big bat and keep AJ.

    OR

    AJ is expecting more money than Kenny wants, they let Tyler develop and bring him up next season. Either way it will result in a new player being in a Sox Uniform within the next year.

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