The St. Louis Cardinals had agreed to sign free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has confirmed. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported the news. The team will be without Yadier Molina for another 6-10 weeks following thumb surgery.
Pierzynski, 37, was released by the Red Sox a few weeks ago, so St. Louis will sign him for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum. He hit .254/.286/.348 (77 OPS+) with four home runs in 72 games with Boston before being dropped from the roster.
Molina and Pierzynski could not be any more different. Molina is a patient hitter while Pierzynski is a total hacker. Molina has an elite arm (49 percent) while Pierzynski struggles to throw out base-runners (19 percent). Molina is seen as a leader whereas Pierzynski has worn out his welcome with more than one team. It's a curious fit, for sure.
The Cardinals had been using Tony Cruz and George Kottaras behind the plate since Molina's injury, but obviously they were continuing to look for an upgrade.