Rangers to sign A.J. Pierzynski

According to multiple reports, the Rangers will sign free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year contract. No word on the money, but I’ll guess … $8M. How’s that sound?

Anyway, Jon Heyman says the Yankees did not make Pierzynski an offer, which isn’t terribly surprising. They reportedly did not like him much despite the fact that he was the only starting caliber backstop left on the open market after Russell Martin fled for Pittsburgh. Barring an unexpected trade, it’ll be some combination of Chris Stewart, Austin Romine, and Frankie Cervelli behind the plate next season.

Update: Yankees likely to re-sign Ichiro

5:00pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are “showing strong interest” in Ichiro and are likely to re-sign him to a one-year contract. They’re also looking into trades involving Curtis Granderson, which we heard last week.

: Via Jon Heyman: The Yankees are still talking to Ichiro Suzuki about a return next season while also hesitating to show interest in A.J. Pierzynski. They view the long-time White Sox backstop as just an average defender, and apparently catcher defense has become a top priority in the organization over the last few years. Non-updates really, though I suppose at some point the Yankees will have to stop sitting on their hands and make some moves on the position player side.

Winter Meetings Day Three Open Thread

(Marilyn Indahl/Getty)

Day Two of the Winter Meetings was busier than Day One for the Yankees even though they didn’t make any moves or announce another Alex Rodriguez injury. Brian Cashman confirmed speaking to the representatives for Kevin Youkilis, A.J. Pierzynski, Ichiro Suzuki, Eric Chavez, and Raul Ibanez. Jeff Keppinger and Mark Reynolds were also said to be on the team’s radar.

Here are Monday’s rumors and Tuesday’s rumors. We’ll keep of any Yankees-related rumblings here throughout the day, with the latest up top (all times ET).

  • 5:14pm: Reynolds is seeking a similar salary to the $7.5M he made in 2012. [Bryan Hoch]
  • 4:42pm: The Yankees have been talking to the representatives for Mark Reynolds about playing third base. [Sherman]
  • 1:20pm: The Yankees have been exchanging trade proposals with other teams about their players, including Curtis Granderson according to Buster Olney. He cautions that this is typical and the not necessarily an indication that something serious is brewing.
  • 1:11pm: A deal between the Yankees and Youkilis is unlikely, and Keppinger remains the team’s top third base target. Agreeing to a contract length will be an issue. [Mark Feinsand]
  • 10:56am: The Yankees checked in with Hannahan but are not very serious about signing him. Due diligence, I suppose. [Jordan Bastian]
  • 10:16am: Nate Schierholtz is making “good progress” towards his next deal and the Yankees are considered the early front-runner to sign him. That would be swell in my opinion. [Buster Olney]
  • 9:30am: The Yankees “really want” Keppinger and he could wind up with a three-year deal worth $13M. They’ve let Keppinger’s camp know they’ll give him two years. [Danny Knobler & Joel Sherman]
  • There are “strong indications” the Yankees will not seriously pursue Pierzynski. A White Sox official indicated the catcher would be more willing to take a one-year deal with the Bombers than with any other team. [Sherman]
  • Free agent infielder Jack Hannahan is also of “some interest” to New York. The 32-year-old is a great defensive third baseman who will draw a bunch of walks, but otherwise he can’t really hit. [Paul Hoynes]

King: Yankees haven’t shown much interest in A.J. Pierzynski

Via George King: The Yankees “haven’t shown much interest” in free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, though that was before Russell Martin agreed to sign with the Pirates. Things may have changed since the free agent catching market stinks.

Pierzynski, 36 next month, hit a career-best .278/.326/.501 (118 wRC+) with 27 homers in 520 plate appearances this year. His previous career-highs were 18 homers (2005) and 112 wRC+ (2003). Pierzynski has over 13,000 career innings behind the plate and is well past the point when most catchers turn into pumpkins. He’s very unlikely to repeat that offensive performance and when you add in the fact that he’s an all-time jerk, there are several reasons why the Yankees are right not to have much interest. Then again, there is a major shortage of viable alternatives right now.