Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – The Boston Red Sox and free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski have agreed to a one-year contract reportedly worth $8.25 million, pending a physical.
With Pierzynski on board, the Red Sox ended their relationship with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was seeking at least a three-year deal but was offered a two-year contract.
The well-traveled Pierzynski turns 37 on Dec. 30 but he has played in at least 125 games in each season since 2002.
Pierzynski has hit a total of 44 home runs in the past two seasons with the Chicago White Sox and with Texas Rangers. He threw out 33 percent of the runners who attempted to steal on him in 2013, his best rate in more than a decade.
The left-handed-hitting Pierzynski will complement right-handed-hitting David Ross behind the plate for the Red Sox.
The short-term deal would seem to be an indication that the team believes catching prospects Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart might be ready for the majors sooner than later.
Saltalamacchia was the better offensive catcher in 2013, with his .804 OPS more than 80 points higher than Pierzynski’s .722.