VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

Rangers add C Pierzynski, say he will be starter

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - A.J. Pierzynski can joke with Texas manager Ron Washington about last season's All-Star snub now that he's the starting catcher for the Rangers.

They shared a laugh over lunch a few days before Wednesday's announcement that Pierzynski's one-year free agent contract with Texas was complete. Both considered the All-Star issue dead after it happened in July, even though Pierzynski had a cryptic retort when Washington explained the difficulty of the decision.

``Everybody keeps trying to make a big deal out of it, but I've known Wash for a really long time,'' Pierzynski said. ``It's not going to change the way I feel about Ron Washington because I know what he's done in this game and I know where he stands and what he's all about. It's over and done with for me.''

Washington said Pierzynski will be the primary catcher, pushing Geovany Soto to the backup role after he re-signed as a free agent. Pierzynski hit .278 with a career-high 27 home runs in 135 games for the Chicago White Sox, while Soto took a pay cut after hitting .196 in 47 games following a trade with the Chicago Cubs.

Pierzynski, a two-time All-Star who has been to the playoffs four times and won the 2005 World Series with the White Sox, has long been known as an irritant to opposing players and even someone who didn't always please his teammates either. Washington says he always felt otherwise.

``I always loved him; I never hated him,'' Washington said. ``I always loved him because he always believed he did anything and everything he had to do to try to beat you. I admired that.''

The Rangers needed a left-handed power hitter after losing All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton in free agency to the Los Angeles. They also had a void at catcher because Mike Napoli, a key to Texas reaching a second straight World Series in 2011, bolted for Boston.

Soto became a free agent when the Rangers didn't agree to a contract before a deadline earlier this month. But he eventually agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract, a more than 20 percent decrease from his $4.3 million payroll last season. Terms of Pierzynski's deal weren't disclosed.

Pierzynski is a .284 career hitter in 1,629 games with the White Sox (2005-12), San Francisco (2004) and Minnesota (1998-2003). He could also play some designated hitter. He caught 121 games last year, leads and all active players with 1,559 games as a catcher and doesn't see a need to slow down even though he turns 36 on Sunday.

``Physically, I feel awesome,'' said Pierzynski, who matched his career high with 77 RBIs last season. ``Mentally, I'm as good as I've ever been. I always joke that I have to thank my mom and dad because they gave me good genes as far as health goes.''

To make room for Pierzynski on the 40-man roster, the Rangers designated catcher Luis Martinez for assignment.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

News: 2018 Season Win Totals
Ellsbury expected to start season on DL
Hellickson adds an arm to Nats' roster
Greinke ruled out as opening-day starter
Rangers claim 1B Joseph on waivers
Braves' Teheran to make opening day start
Altuve, Astros finalize $163M, 7-year deal
Fowler's back at leadoff for Cardinals
Lucroy getting to know new A's teammates
Why Buy Picks From
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records Gold Membership
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 2230
Stephen Nover + 1583
ASA + 1333
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1971
Stephen Nover + 1351
Vince Akins + 1017
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 1322
Kyle Hunter + 719
Joe Nelson + 682
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 513
ASA + 290
Kevin Rogers + 159
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 1356
Scott Rickenbach + 941
Stephen Nover + 724
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1720
Dave Cokin + 1514
ASA + 1049
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership