Skip to main content

Pierzynski: That Works

Yesterday's signing of A.J. Pierzynski (aka the other news from yesterday) to catch for the Sox next year is a very strong decision.  While I'm not really buying the "bridge" description, it was a very good move.

A.J. is nearly as good a hitter as Salty and a superior catcher at less money and fewer years.  Salty has more power - fewer homers last year but far more doubles and is on the upward slope of his career - but almost double the strikeouts.  I know we are not supposed to care about that anymore, but do you think that if Salty had been grounding and flying out in the playoffs, and had played better D, that he would have sat at the end?

I have always been a huge booster of Salty.  In fact, I thought his signing was the most important signing for the Sox this offseason.  That was in large part because I though he was the second best catcher on the market (after McCann) and the drop off after him was large and would require overpaying (see Carlos Ruiz).  But AJ fits nicely into the Sox plans by not costing too much and not committing long term to an aging catcher (e.g any proven big league catcher really).

The reason why I was not interested in AJ before was his bad reputation as a person.  As we all know, a big part of this Sox team's success was it's character and it was in especially stark contract to the teams that proceeded it - teams which failed when they should have succeeded, while this team succeeded when logic made failure seem pretty darn possible.

But, I am cautiously optimistic about AJ as a teammate.  I don't think the front office is dumb enough to risk blowing up the good will on - and toward - this team for this signing if they weren't sure he'd fit in.  It sounds from reports I've read that he's a highly competitive, scrappy, pushy, talkative player.  Honestly, he sounds kind of like Pedroia - perhaps with Manning-esque facial expressions.  Between Peddy, Ortiz, Ross, Gomes, and Lackey, I don't think the Sox will lack for players willing to tell AJ to shut up if they need to.  And John Farrell is not going to let that happen as Francona's laisez faire approach or Bobby V's fight-fire-with-gas approach would have.

So, good signing.  But...

I don't trust the bridge approach for catchers when they are not named Mauer or Weiters.  Christian Vazquez appears to be a great defender and an iffy hitter at Double A.  Blake Swihart is a solid hitter and athlete learning to play the hardest position in the sport.  I see why this should work, but I feel that neither will be ready to start in 2015. If that's the case, let's chat again next year.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Red Sox Reality: Don't Make Another Trade

The Red Sox simply should not make another trade this season unless it's a long-term solution and a real steal.  Aside from getting Chris Sale straight up for Dan Butler, the Sox should not get involved in another trade.

The Sox actually are about as well situated as they can get on pretty much every front.  That's not to say they are a perfect team, just that the cost of getting anyone who would substantially improve them is prohibitive.

The starting rotation is clearly the spot for which most fans are crying for improvement, with the bullpen a close second.  But in the starting rotation, David Price is one of the best pitchers in baseball and we should expect him to pitch like it.  His high strikeout and low walk totals, and his health, bode well for him.  It looks likely that the Sox' fate with rest on the one game Wild Card playoff, so much of the season really hinges on that one start by Price.  Short of Sale, there's no one available on the market who would be an…

Chris Sale, Bullpen Reboot, Hot Stove Checklist Addition, Sell High

CHRIS SALE TRADE: The Sox just got ace lefty Chris Sale for America's top prospect Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, another Basabe, and Victor Diaz.  That's a true ace for a potential superstar who clearly needs more seasoning, a golden arm who seemed to be a possible headcase, and two lottery tickets.  This is a very good trade for the Sox. While the Sox would have found room to play Moncada once he was ready, he didn't exactly fill a void with Peddy blocking him at second, Panda getting another shot at 3B this year, and 3B prospects Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec - and maybe Michael Chavis - not too far off possibly.  Moncada might not be the biggest pain felt here. After trading Anderson Espinoza for Drew Pomeranz - a trade that is looking worse these days - the trade of Kopech leaves very little high-end pitching talent in the system right now.  There is now a very large drop off after Jason Groome.  Also, the loss of Basabe, Diaz, Dubon and Pennington today just really d…

Yoan Moncada Is Being Rushed

The Red Sox have the top prospect in baseball.  I honestly don't know when we've ever had that.  He's playing in Portland (...in Portland...), the same spot from which Andrew Benintendi jumped into the bigs with great early success.  So, bring up Yoan Moncada right now. Right?

I know it's too late, but the answer was: no.  There are a lot of logical problems with the calculations at play with this promotion.  Benintendi was the best player in college baseball last year and there is a strong recent track record of players making a quick jump from major college programs to the bigs. Heck, John Olerud had a brain aneurysm, was a part time pitcher in Washington State, and still jumped directly to the big leagues and a very strong 17 year career.  But, Moncada did not play major college baseball.  Instead, he played two years of professional baseball in Cuba, then missed almost a year as he went through the process of joining the Sox.

Moncada, also unlike Benintendi, has si…