The Texas Rangers have completed a one-year deal with catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
Pierzynski, 35, produced career-highs with 27 home runs and an .827 OPS for the Chicago White Sox last season.
His addition will allow the Rangers to use Geovany Soto as more of a backup, and help balance the team’s lineup with another left-handed hitter.
The Rangers lost their best left-handed hitter, free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, to the Los Angeles Angels. They are on the verge of losing another of their top offensive players, free-agent catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli, to the Boston Red Sox.
Soto and right-handed reliever Joakim Soria were the Rangers’ previous free-agent additions this offseason. The team missed on Hamilton and right-hander Zack Grienke, and also failed to complete trades for Arizona right fielder Justin Upton and Tampa Bay righty James Shields.
Pierzynski visited the Rangers on Tuesday, the same day the team also entertained free-agent outfielder Cody Ross. The Rangers also are seeking another reliever, sources say.
Pierzynski has been one of the game’s most durable catchers, averaging 133 games over the last 11 seasons. He has been on the disabled list only once, when he fractured his left wrist in 2011.