Veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski will pursue a free agent deal this winter, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). There had been rumblings that the 39-year-old would hang up his spikes at season’s end.
It would seem there’s still a possibility that Pierzynski calls it quits if he can’t find an offer to his liking, but he won’t do so before testing interest. He will enter a market that features quite a few second catcher candidates, though of course that also reflects the fact that many teams will be sending receivers into free agency. With catching in high demand league-wide, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a club take a chance on the elder statesman.
Pierzynski will not be entering another run at the open market with the best of platform seasons. He slashed a meager .219/.243/.304 with two long balls in his 259 trips to the plate last year. Though he played in half of Atlanta’s total contests, even though his season ended early due to injury, Pierzynski failed to tally 100 games for the first time since way back in 2000 — ending a rather remarkable run.
Teams weighing a run at the salty veteran will no doubt be intrigued by his 2015 season, in which he provided the Braves with 436 plate appearances of .300/.339/.430 hitting. That showing earned him a $3MM contract to return in 2016. Over Pierzynski’s 19 major league campaigns, he has also appeared with the White Sox, Twins, Giants, Cardinals, and Rangers, compiling a lifetime .280/.319/.420 batting line and launching 188 home runs.