The Texas Rangers added some pop to their offense Thursday, agreeing to a one-year deal with catcher A.J. Pierzynski according to a source.
The deal is pending a physical which is expected Friday.
Pierzynski, who will turn 36 next week, fills two needs for the Rangers. He solidifies the catching spot that was being held down by the tandem of Geovany Soto and Eli Whiteside. He also gives them a left-handed bat to help make up for the loss of Josh Hamilton.
Pierzynski has been a workhorse behind the plate. He’s caught in at least 110 games every season since 2001. He’d been with the Chicago White Sox since 2006 and started 111 games at catcher for Chicago in 2012.
He set a career high with 27 home runs for Chicago in 2012 and matched his career high with 77 RBIs to go along with a .278 average. The two-time All-Star also threw out 27 of 103 runners attempting to steal.
Pierzynski’s RBI total for 2012 matched the entire Texas output from its catchers and his homer total was four more than the entire team got from the catching spot.
Texas signed Soto to a one-year deal earlier this month but Soto struggled in 2012, hitting a combined .198 between Texas and the Chicago Cubs. The Rangers also picked up Whiteside on waivers from Toronto.
Getting Pierzynski is the first major upgrade for the Texas offense. The club has already lost Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli to free agency and traded away Michael Young. Before getting Pierzynski, the biggest acquisition Texas had made was signing right-hander Joakim Soria, who is coming off Tommy John surgery.
The vocal Pierzynski was left off the All-Star team by Texas manager Ron Washington this year. Washington said he felt bad he didn’t have room for Pierzynski and Pierzynski said that if Washington felt bad, he would have put him on the team.
“I consider him a winning player because he beats you any kind of way he can,” Washington said at the time.