Chicago White Sox: Max Ramirez
May, 18, 2010
By Bruce Levine
The Texas Rangers are one of three teams who have inquired about the availability of Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty ImagesA.J. Pierzynski has attracted plenty of trade interest but nothing is imminent.
The White Sox have been in contact with Texas about trading for Pierzynski for the past two weeks. Although Texas and the Sox have had these discussions, nothing is imminent or extremely hot at this time.
The Rangers have three catchers: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Max Ramirez and Matt Treanor. Ramirez is a rookie, Treanor is doing most of the catching but is not looked at as an everyday receiver. Saltalamacchia is more of a hitter than a defensive catcher.
Texas envisions the veteran presence of Pierzynski as a much-needed addition to help teach and prod their young pitching staff that includes former Cub Rich Harden. The Rangers won 87 games in 2009, and they feel Pierzynski can bring the same toughness and baseball IQ to their team that he has added on the South Side since he joined the team in 2005.
One Texas official asked me recently how I would describe Pierzynski. My reply was that Pierzynski is a winner. He said that is exactly why they are interested in a deal for the catcher.
From the White Sox's perspective, the trading of Pierzynski might be a sign that they are giving up on contending for 2010. The eventual ascention of Tyler Flowers from Triple A is inevitable. Flowers has progressed as a signal caller but is still striking out at almost a 3-to-1 ratio. Their young catcher hits for power, but consistent, hard contact has been elusive for him.
The White Sox probably will themselves three weeks to get back into the AL Central race. If they drop 10 or more games out of the race in June, a fire sale may begin with the trading of Pierzynski, who will have the right to veto a trade when he becomes a 10-and-5 man (10 years in the majors, five with the same team) on June 14.