The White Sox may be the best fit of all for A.J. Pierzynski, who hits free agency this offseason. It once seemed as though Tyler Flowers would replace Pierzynski, but the White Sox could look to keep the 13-year veteran if they don't want to hand the starting catcher's job to a minor leaguer who slumped his way through the 2010 season. Pierzynski has said he's open to returning to the South Side, so it would not be surprising to see the sides reach a new deal.
As MLBTR's Steve Adams pointed out when he examined Pierzynski's stock a few weeks ago, the relative strength of this year's free agent catchers could limit the catcher's bargaining power. Victor Martinez, Ramon Hernandez, John Buck and Rod Barajas will be available on the market and Miguel Olivo, Yorvit Torrealba and Bengie Molina could join them. But a number of teams will be seeking catching help this winter, so Pierzynski should draw interest if he doesn't return to Chicago.
Here are some potential destinations for the 33-year-old. He batted just .270/.300/.388 this year, but no one said it was easy to find catchers who can hit.
- Red Sox – If Martinez signs elsewhere, the Red Sox may look for a more experienced complement to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
- Rangers – The Rangers will be looking for a catcher if Bengie Molina retires.
- Mariners – The Mariners need offense everywhere they can get it.
- Marlins – The Marlins are looking for a catcher this offseason.
- Mets – Josh Thole hit relatively well in half a season with the Mets, but new GM Sandy Alderson could look to sign a veteran catcher.
- Reds – The Reds have interest in bringing Hernandez back, but they could be in the market for a catcher if negotiations don't go well.
- Padres – The Padres and Yorvit Torrealba have a mutual option for 2011. If the option doesn't get exercised, GM Jed Hoyer could be searching for a backstop, depending on the organization's confidence in Nick Hundley.