|A.J. Pierzynski is coming off a career year at the plate, and the Yankees need a catcher. (Getty Images)|
Following the loss of free-agent catcher Russell Martin to the Pirates, the Yankees are in the market for a starting catcher. That search has, sensibly enough, led them to A.J. Pierzynski . Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Yanks have engaged Pierzynski in contract talks.
The 35-year-old Pierzynski is coming off a career year at the plate: .278/.326/.501 with 27 homers. It's likely that Pierzynski will regress back toward career norms with the bat, but even if he does he still figures to be an asset. That's because Pierzynski is a skilled defensive catcher, and he's also quite durable by the standards of the position (he's been on the DL only once in his career, and that was the result of being struck by a pitch).
As well, Pierzynski's left-handed swing could play quite well in Yankee Stadium, especially if he's able to maintain the jump in fly-ball rate that he enjoyed last season. On top of all that, he's not going to command a lengthy deal, so he's an ideal placeholder for the contending Yankees.