With their first significant acquisition of the offseason, the Red Sox have found the short-term solution behind the plate they were looking for in A.J. Pierzynski, a veteran who owns a World Series ring.
Pierzynski and Boston agreed on a one-year deal that is pending the completion of a physical.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com was the first to report the agreement, which signifies the end of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's time with the Red Sox. After serving as Boston's primary catcher the past three seasons, Saltalamacchia will be moving elsewhere, as he agreed Tuesday to a three-year, $21 million contract with the Marlins, according to an industry source.
The Red Sox have two catchers they really like in their farm system in Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart. That was probably a big reason they went with a one-year deal for Pierzynski, who turns 37 later this month, rather than retaining Saltalamacchia for the multiyear pact he was looking for.
It could be a good situation for Pierzynski, considering Boston has a solid No. 2 catcher in David Ross, who is capable of playing more than the average backup catcher. In fact, the Red Sox thought so highly of Ross that he caught four of the six World Series games. Boston won all four of those games.
Given that Pierzynski is a left-handed hitter and Ross is a righty, they could form a traditional platoon, if that's how manager John Farrell chooses to play it.
"His resume speaks for itself. He's won a championship. The guy is a really good hitter. I think he should fit in well in our lineup, a left-handed bat," Ross said on SiriusXM MLB Network Radio. "He's been around for a long time. I don't think you can go wrong with a guy like that."
Philip Kossoy here...This guy has found a new lease on life as a Catcher that hits. The Red Sox have replaces Salty with a similar player and are only committed to a 1 year deal. Not a bad move in my estimation. We'll see.