Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Braves resign AJ Pierzynski

Small update tonight on the offseason front. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Braves signed AJ Pierzynski to a 1 year deal worth $3M. $1M of that will be in a signing bonus, $2M in salary, and $1M more incentives which I can only assume are based on amount of games played in the season.

Last season at the age of 38, AJ managed to play as the primary starting catcher in 113 games, with 407 ABs, 24 doubles, 9 homers, and 49 RBIs. He was one of the better sluggers on the team with a .430 slugging percentage, and he was the top hitter on the team in terms of batting average with a .300 average on the season.

In fact, AJ actually had a better year than catchers like Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero, and Jonathon Lucroy. And Lucroy is a guy I think the Braves are targeting as a possibility in the offseason. The fact AJ was doing all this at the age of 38 in the NL where he has to actually play the position? That's insane.

I think it's a great bargain for the Braves, regardless of his production going into next season. At the very least, the Braves need a veteran catcher to work with the staff. No, I don't expect him to slug .400+ and .700+ OPS at age 39. I think there will be some falloff. But in today's market of big money contracts going to very average talent, spending $3M on a solid catcher that can improve young pitching and teach them the progressions? That's big value for this team.


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