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Red Sox close to deal with C Pierzynski

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Dec 03 2013 11:07:09 AM CST
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A.J. Pierzynski agreed to a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox, which ended the chances Jarrod Saltalamacchia would return to the World Series champions.

Pierzynski will start and share catching duties with another veteran, David Ross. Both players turn 37 before Opening Day 2014, but the Red Sox have two strong catching prospects who could fight their way onto the roster by the end of next season.

Pierzynski played one season in Texas and had a .272 batting average with 17 home runs and 70 RBI. He threw out a career-best 33 percent of base-stealers.

He is considered a strong defensive catcher and hits left-handers well.

Pierzynski signed Tuesday after Dioner Navarro finalized a two-year, $8 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Pierzynski was reportedly flirting with the Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins, who moved Joe Mauer to first base.

Saltalamachhia hit .273 with 14 home runs and 65 RBI with the Red Sox last season and made marked strides defensively.

The Red Sox were thought to be bidding against the Twins and Miami Marlins for Saltalamacchia before moving on to Pierzynski.

Christian Vazquez, 23, reached Triple-A last season and is one of the two prospects who could be the catcher of the future for the Red Sox and considered more advanced than 21-year-old Blake Swihart, a former first-round pick.

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