So the WORLD CHAMPION Boston Red Sox have decided to part ways with 28-year-old catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and instead sign soon-to-be 37-year-old A.J. Pierzynski.
Now, I understand there’s not too many fish in the sea of free agency when it comes to catchers — especially with the Yankees scooping Brian McCann (who they grossly overpaid for. $85 million is a lot for a man who hit .256 with just 57 RBI) — but if Pierzynski is the catch of the day (pun intended), I would have thrown him back into the murky waters of Boston’s back bay.
Look at the numbers: Salty was clearly a better offensive catcher in 2013. His OPS of .804 was over 80 points higher than Pierzynski’s. His on-base percentage, slugging and batting average were also higher than his replacement’s. Pierzynski edged Saltalamacchia in home runs (17-14) and RBIs (70-65), but he’s certainly not a power upgrade. He’s not a guy I’m confident to put anywhere near the middle of the lineup and expect production on a regular basis. You can say the same about Salty, but I’d rather have a 28-year-old on the upswing of his career than a 37-year-old with 16 years of wear and tear.
What are you thinking G.M. Ben Cherington?
To combat things further, it’s the salary figures that seem mind boggling. Pierzynski, according to reports, will receive $8.25 million for his one-year deal. That’s more money than he was making with Texas and the largest payday of his career!
Salty got $7 million per to head to Miami. For less money, wouldn’t you rather have a younger catcher behind the plate who is heading into the prime of his career? A catcher who knows your pitching staff and, although he struggled in the World Series, was a big part of guiding the Sox to a world championship?
The Salty-David Ross combination worked pretty f’n good last year, why change it? Now, instead, the catching core consists of two 37 year olds! You’re putting a lot of confidence and faith in the fact that either minor league prospects Christian Vazquez or Blake Swihart are going to be Major League ready come 2015 Mr. Cherington. I hope you’re right! If you’re wrong, you’re going to have some ‘splainin to do!
All I know now is that Jacoby Ellsbury better be roaming center field at Fenway next year. Make it happen!
Or on second thought, let him walk to the Bronx! Why would we want to keep the best stolen base artist in the game, a .300 hitter and an all-around player who can help you win a game in so many different fashions? WTF?
Who U Mad At Ben Cherington?
The only good news is that the Yanks spent all that money on a position they didn’t need to fill. Good job making your horrid pitching staff better!