Chance at ring lures A.J. Pierzynski

Updated: December 4, 2013, 10:53 PM ET
ESPNBoston.com

Newly signed Boston Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said Wednesday he passed up multiyear offers to sign a one-year deal with the World Series champs because he thought it afforded him his best chance at another ring.

"It was impossible to say no," Pierzynski told reporters on a conference call to announce his deal. "In end, winning won out over everything."

The deal, which was first reported Tuesday, is worth $8.25 million.

"In the end it came down to wanting to come to Boston," he said. "Obviously, it's not every day you get a chance to play for the defending World Series champion, and looking at the organization and looking at what they've got coming back, they definitely have a chance to win again. I've won once, and once you've won, you want to try and do it again."

A two-time All-Star, Pierzynski will take over for switch-hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday at about the same time the New York Yankees pried outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury away from their rivals with a seven-year, $153 million deal. Saltalamacchia had been a solid catcher in Boston, but his last play in a Red Sox uniform was the ill-advised throw to third base that led to the obstruction call against Will Middlebrooks, which gave the St. Louis Cardinals a victory in Game 3 of the World Series.

David Ross took over full time after that, and the Red Sox went on to win the Series in six games -- their third title in 10 years. Pierzynski, a left-handed hitter, and Ross, a righty, will both be 37 next season. The Red Sox are hoping they can do the job until prospects Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart are ready.

"Look, I'm just trying to fit in," Pierzynski said. "Last year, going to Texas, I thought I felt I fit in pretty well. The clubhouse [here] is great. There are guys I've known. I know [Shane] Victorino. I've known Jonny Gomes for a long time. Everything says they want to win. That's what I want to do. It shouldn't be that hard to fit in.

"This isn't my team. This is David Ortiz's team, Dustin Pedroia's. I'm just a piece trying to help them win again."

Pierzynski batted .272 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs last season with Texas -- the 13th season in a row in which he's caught at least 110 games. In 13-plus seasons with the Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers, Pierzynski is a .283 hitter with 172 homers and 800 RBIs. He has a .322 average in 33 games at Fenway Park.

Pierzynski has caught two no-hitters, including Philip Humber's perfect game April 21, 2012. He made the All-Star Game in 2002 and '06 and won the World Series with the White Sox in '05. He has a .300 career average with five homers and 17 RBIs in the postseason.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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