Braves

Braves Re-sign A.J. Pierzynski

In a move that many speculated would occur, the Braves have decided to re-sign veteran Catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one year deal. Ken Rosenthal was the first to break the news:

Though he will be 39 years of age by the time the 2016 season kicks off, Pierzynski played a valuable role on and off the field for the organization last season. Not only did he manage to hit .300 with 9 homers and 49 RBI, he managed a very young pitching staff and an abundance of various relievers throughout the season. His hands were full, to say the least. Many thought that A.J. was very likely to be moved to a contender given that the Braves were out of contention at the trade deadline, but the team held on to him, and it’s evident why. The team clearly wants A.J. to continue to mentor this young team in a rebuilding stage while offering cheap offensive production.

This clearly signals that Peter Gammons’ report of the team not pursuing Matt Wieters was indeed accurate. While this is far from a long-term option for Atlanta, it’s clear they may still believe Christian Bethancourt could push Pierzynski for playing time, barring a trade. Getting this move out of the way will allow the Braves to focus on other offseason needs, which may include pursuing upgrades at second and third base. A left-handed reliever will undoubtedly be brought in and I think it’s likely Cameron Maybin and/or Nick Swisher is moved as well. The future at Catcher is cloudy for Atlanta, but this move buys them another calendar year to figure it out.

We will provide the financial details of the deal once they are released. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: The contract will earn Pierzynski $3 million for the upcoming season per Jon Heyman. 

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