The Texas Rangers and catcher A.J. Pierzynski have reportedly agreed to a one-year contract.
UPDATE: Wednesday, December 26 at 12:32 p.m. ET
Nearly a week later and the Rangers and Pierzynski have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, the league announced this afternoon.
OFFICIAL: @rangers sign A.J. Pierzynski to 1-year contract.— MLB (@MLB) December 26, 2012
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ESPN's Jim Bowden broke the news on Twitter:
Rangers and A.J. Pierzynski have agreed to terms on a one-year contract pending tomorrow's physical— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 20, 2012
Pierzynski has spent the past eight seasons with the Chicago White Sox, the most memorable of which was the team's World Series victory in 2005. The next year, Pierzynski was named to the All-Star team.
Although he has been cited as the most hated player in baseball (h/t USA Today), it's difficult to debate Pierzynski's production. A career .284 hitter, he also won the Silver Slugger Award in 2012 after smashing a career-high 27 home runs and 77 runs batted in.
His defense behind the plate may not be what it once was, but the 35-year-old veteran has simply produced everywhere he has been despite his boisterous personality.
On a team that just lost the powerful bat of Josh Hamilton to the division-rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Rangers could use more pop in the lineup to make up for the loss of the 2010 AL MVP.
The Rangers have also been struggling on the mound, and that was a big reason why they couldn't capitalize on their back-to-back World Series appearances. Especially with the departure of Mike Napoli, Pierzynski brings a winning mentality and plenty of experience to Arlington.
Not every player in the dugout nor all the fans will wholeheartedly endorse Pierzynski's arrival, but GM Jon Daniels made a very savvy move in acquiring the veteran catcher to fill the void behind the plate.