It’s crazy right, bringing back a White Sox icon who won a championship with the club in 2005? It certainly would be uncharacteristic of Rick Hahn, who has made it as habit of targeting players who can still fit into the young core.
At 38 years old, Pierzynski does not fit that description. He would merely be a rental, and could probably be acquired as soon as tomorrow, considering the Atlanta Braves aren’t exactly throwing in all the chips for 2015.
It would take a marginal prospect. Maybe the Braves want to see if former White Sox No. 2 prospect Erik Johnson rebounds or take a chance on a guy like Trayce Thompson. They have the room for experimentation, one of the luxuries that comes along with a rebuilding period.
The Braves don’t need Pierzynski, but the White Sox do and here’s why:
First, he actually is a concrete solution. In his time with Atlanta, Pierzynski has posted a .293/.333/.457 slash line, with a .790 OPS that would place him third on the team behind Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia in that category.
He is on pace for a double-digit home run total and his power has always played up at U.S. Cellular field.
The defense is obviously lacking as his age is a factor, but as addressed above, it’s not as though Flowers is shining in this area either.
In this scenario, Flowers would still assume most of the at-bats against left-handers, while A.J. would accumulate the rest.
Then there are the intangibles to consider. This was a White Sox team that some pundits predicted to win the division and at the very least contend for a wildcard spot, yet at times they have looked listless in all facets of the game.
A.J. Pierzynski is a gamer, one who fits right in with the likes of Adam Eaton and Jeff Samardzija. In fact, there may not be a pitcher-catcher duo in baseball that would be more competitive than a Pierzynski-Samardzija alignment.
The fire required to win games is not coming from Robin Ventura, and it has been nonexistent surrounding the team since…well since A.J. Pierzynski left to be honest. What’s intriguing about a move like this one is that the White Sox can upgrade both the team’s intensity and production in a single deal, and through one that would appeal to White Sox fans at that.
Overall, whether it’s an acquisition that nets a long-term piece like Castro or a stop-gap like Pierzynski, the White Sox need to make a change at catcher because I think White Sox fans spit out that slice of pizza a long time ago.