The only catching standout still on the market now appears to be off the market.
A.J. Pierzynski, the veteran coming off a career year with the White Sox, has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Rangers. Despite their obvious hole behind the plate, the Yankees never seemed interested in Pierzysnki, preferring their in-house defensive catchers over the offensive Pierzynski. And based on the one-year deal he’s signing with Texas, the length of a contract couldn’t have been an issue.
It seems the Yankees simply didn’t want him.
Two things I wonder about, but don’t have the answer to:
1. We know the Yankees were willing to spend on Russell Martin, which means they were planning to spend money on a catcher. Is it possible the news of Alex Rodriguez’s hip surgery led them to reallocate those funds toward third base?
2. Passed balls and caught stealing percentages only tell us so much about what a catcher does behind the plate. Could the Yankees internal metrics tell them that their in-house catchers are a more significant defensive upgrade than we might expect?
From my point of view, Pierzynski was always an obvious choice, especially on a one-year deal. The Yankees clearly thought otherwise.