Cardinals To Sign A.J. Pierzynski

The Cardinals have agreed to a deal with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported that the sides were moving towards an agreement, with Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reporting that Pierzynski would be joining the team tomorrow in Chicago.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Pierzynski, 37, signed with the Red Sox before the season for one year and $8.25MM. But he never seemed to mesh in the clubhouse and, perhaps more importantly, failed to replicate his usual success at the plate. He hit just four home runs in 274 plate appearances and slashed a substandard .254/.286/.348. That was a far cry from his production over the prior two seasons, when he hit a combined 44 home runs and slashed .275/.311/.462.

Of course, for St. Louis, the signing represents an attempt to fill the void left by the injured Yadier Molina, who is expected to be out until at least the tail end of the regular season. Pickings were fairly slim on the trade market, with Kurt Suzuki of the Twins representing perhaps the most likely option. It remains unclear how playing time will be allocated between Pierzynski and usual backup Tony Cruz, but it seems likely that Pierzynski will see plenty of action down the stretch.

The deal will presumably¬†no relief for the Red Sox, who will avoid only the pro-rated league minimum salary while paying Pierzynski the rest of his promised $8.25MM. The veteran will have a chance to boost his numbers — and do so during what seems likely to be a tight division race — before once again hitting the open market next year.

Meanwhile, the Twins will presumably need to look elsewhere if they desire to deal Suzuki, with the Orioles representing perhaps the only obvious landing spot. The Dodgers appear to be another team that could conceivably look to upgrade behind the plate, though it is far from clear that Suzuki would offer much of an upgrade and other potentially available backstops would take persuading to pry free. All said, it looks as if the catching market will not see much movement in advance of July 31.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Images.


32 Responses to Cardinals To Sign A.J. Pierzynski Leave a Reply

  1. asovermann 11 months ago

    Lol, and Cardinals fans said this would never happen.

  2. Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

    Good luck with that.

  3. geauxbraves2000 11 months ago

    I am a Cubs fan so naturally the Cards are a rival and even I feel bad for them.

    • BaseballBeisbol 11 months ago

      That’s nice of you, but as a cubs fan, you’re never obligated to feel bad for anyone.

      :-)

  4. W.G 11 months ago

    Well.. Better than a trade I guess

  5. JamesOrLurch 11 months ago

    I’ve heard he is a serious clubhouse cancer. Has anybody heard/seen anything to back this up?

    • Gersh 11 months ago

      I’ve never heard that hes a bad clubhouse guy, i actually thought people liked playing with him, I heard that players don’t like playing against him.

      • LazerTown 11 months ago

        Really?
        It has been out there for 10+ years that he is a cancer. He isn’t quite as bad for his teammates, but there have been many instances of his teammates not liking him.

      • eclpse44 11 months ago

        I have never heard that. He is an Awesome teammate and human. I think the Cards are looking to get Milton Bradley also, fingers crossed!

    • burtonbball88 11 months ago

      Knew a batboy for the Sox, and said he was a complete jerk to him, but was respected by players because of his experience and performance. He did have some decent years in Chicago.

    • WillieWildkat 11 months ago

      The serious clubhouse cancer reputation is overblown, due to a run-in with Brett Tomko in SF, hastening his exit there. While he’s always relished being the irksome class clown in the dugout, constantly trying to push teammates buttons, truth is, he was the glue and a clubhouse fave. And an even bigger fan and media fave in Chicago. When he’s ready to hang it up, he’ll have a job waiting for him with the team or in broadcasting. Has been doing good work for Fox postseason last few yrs. Funny he got the offer, he was partying it up in Cooperstown, hanging out with Aaron Rowand and Jermaine Dye at the Frank Thomas party last night

      • AKA_brotherfox 11 months ago

        Good to know Chicago has already found the right guy to take over for the Hawk.

    • Jeff Scott 11 months ago

      The Red Sox dumped him then won 7 of their next 8, including 2 walk off wins in a row at home the first 2 games without him. As soon as they released him, it looked like everyone could finally just relax and get along, like one big collective sigh of relief. Heard he was not a good teammate at all in Boston, oblivious to everyone but himself. He was the biggest mistake of Boston’s offseason, and not because of the money.

    • Jonas Salk 11 months ago

      He’s not a bad guy and most of his teammates like him. He’s a different kind of guy though and it does rub some people the wrong way. Especially other “loud” clubhouse guys (Jake Peavy for example). One reason I’ve heard he is not popular amongst players is he is a talker when catching.
      AJ is a hell of a player and does so many little things to help the team win. He’s really competitive and knows how to call a game behind the plate. He’s also really good in the clutch. When he was with the White Sox the fans absolutely loved him.

  6. Cory Jones 11 months ago

    I love how people claim he is such a bad guy from Boston Fans, even though he struggled in Boston, wouldn’t you feud with players if they thought it was your fault they were losing?? Honestly I don’t know him, and I’m excited to see what he can do, honestly all he needs to do is catch, and figure out a way to jive with the pitchers, and let the offense find him…Saint Louis has a way of igniting players, and the way the Cardinals have been playing, maybe it is time for a change..

  7. The Shape 11 months ago

    I think it’s a good sign. There’s no risk at all on the Cardinals’ end. If it doesn’t pan out they’re only out the league minimum.

  8. Sean Kelly 11 months ago

    not surprised at all by this. AJ is a seasoned vet and hopefully will help the Cards down the stretch. As a Red Sox fan, I had no issues with him. He was thrown under the bus for the Sox’s woes this season when clearly he isn’t the only reason for the bad season. I’ve always liked AJ and wish him well.

    • Jay fan since 77 11 months ago

      That’s what Farrell does. The sox one and done World Series is the last time a team led by Farrell will win. He can’t manage pitching and Pedroia and Ortiz can’t carry you forever!

  9. Karkat 11 months ago

    Hey St. Louis, you know who AJ has plenty of experience catching? Mr. Jake Peavy! C’mon guys, you know you wanna….

    • MoCrash 11 months ago

      Peavy’s washed up. His numbers are no better than Miller’s, who got relegated to the bullpen. If the Cardinals would be forced to eat the remaining $6+M on Peavy’s contract this year, they’d get by cheaper and better dealing one of their spare outfielders for Kennedy or Collmenter and at least get more years of service.

      • jaybuck 11 months ago

        Nah make the Sox eat the money up to say $3-4 mil per to trade him to the Redbirds.

  10. Kevin Conway 11 months ago

    well good luck St. Louis. Hopefully it goes better than the Red Sox.

    FYI. He had problems with the Giants prior to signing with the Red Sox

  11. jaybuck 11 months ago

    This is a good low risk, cheap signing. Now trade for a guy like Peavy (after the Sox eat a considerable portion of his salary) for some low low low level prospect and lets get back atop the division.

    • aaron 11 months ago

      Yeah…the Sox arent going to eat a “considerable” amount of his contract and only want a low low low prospect. No way.

      • jaybuck 11 months ago

        then the Sox fans need to quit complaining about Jake and just be prepared to watch him every fifth day

  12. headsupkid01 11 months ago

    Ok people, do you really think you know more then the Cardinals organization? Really? If this guy get out of line, they’ll just drop him. They probably told him before hand that if he doesn’t do what they say or up set the team that he’ll get dropped. they didn’t get him as a team leader and they know more then all of you what his real reputation is.

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      That’s funny. I’m sure the Red Sox felt the same way. The only question is why does AJ still find teams willing to sign him when his reputation and behaviors are well known?

  13. 0vercast 11 months ago

    Dang, I was hoping the Twins would sign him and deal Suzuki to the Cards.

  14. mboss 11 months ago

    It’s funny that everyone is saying he’s a cancer, without mentioning his 4+ years in Minnesota and 8 years in Chicago with little issue at all. In fact he was one of the glue to the Sox and keys to the 2005 championship team.

  15. AKA_brotherfox 11 months ago

    Well, after the way the World Series went, I guess the Cardinals might get some tiny satisfaction out of making the Sox pay his salary.

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