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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Catching market continues to shrink

By Richard Durrett

Former Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to terms to be the backstop in Boston with the Red Sox, a source confirmed to ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes this morning.

Once the Rangers signed Geovany Soto as the primary catcher, it was unlikely that Pierzynski would return to Texas. The thought was that he wanted a multiyear deal, but Edes' source is saying the contract is likely for one year. Pierzynski hit .272 with 17 home runs last year in Texas.

The move also impacts another former Ranger as it means Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not coming back to Boston. Saltalamacchia has received an offer from the Miami Marlins, according to reports, and the Minnesota Twins remain interested. He's looking for a multiyear deal.

Consider that the free-agent catchers are quickly disappearing. Brian McCann already agreed to terms on a big deal with the New York Yankees (five years and $85 million, but could be six years and $100 million). Carlos Ruiz got three years from the Philadelphia Phillies. Dioner Navarro is in Toronto. And now Pierzynski heads to Boston.

Trades, of course, are always possible as the Rangers look for someone to pair with Soto, whom the club has tabbed as its primary catcher. The team has discussed J.P. Arencibia and Kurt Suzuki, both now free agents after the Blue Jays non-tendered Arencibia on Monday night. Cincinnati's Ryan Hanigan is a possibility. But many of the names that were circulated and around a few weeks ago are no longer out there.