In a surprise move, the Red Sox have come to terms with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski on a one-year deal.
This means that Jarrod Saltalamacchia will play elsewhere in 2014. The fact he was benched for the final three games of the 2013 World Series certainly didn't help his case. And that he was seeking a three-year deal was something the Red Sox certainly weren't interested in doing.
Pierzynski will be 37 years old this month, and a one-year deal with him clearly makes sense. The deal is for $8.25 million, and he figures to be the bridge to two young catchers the Sox have in their system: Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez. He batted .272 for Texas last year, with 17 HRs and 70 RBI.
Pierzynski has the rep for being one of the most hated guys in baseball. But he is one of those "teammates love him, opponents hate him" type of players.
Saltalamacchia got some big hits in his time with the Red Sox, none bigger than his game-winning single that won the crucial Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS against Detroit. All the best to him, no matter where he lands.
Also, both Andrew Bailey and Ryan Kalish were non-tendered contracts for 2014, meaning they are now free agents. All other players that had to be tendered contracts, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales, Burke Badenhop and Mike Carp, were offered 2014 contracts by last night's deadline.