The Atlanta Braves have agreed to terms with catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Aaron Lunsford first tweeted.
Pierzynski and the Braves agreed to a one-year deal worth about $2 million, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman and CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
Pierzynski, who turns 38 on December 30th, spent 2014 with the Red Sox and Cardinals. Known for his fiery personality, the catcher was released by the Red Sox due to his negative influence in the clubhouse. Multiple players approached Boston's management to help deal with the problem. He was known as being selfish and not caring about the team. That likely factored into his low price tag.
Statistically, Pierzynski saw the worst offensive season of his career last year, hitting for a .251/.288/.337 clip with just five homers and 37 runs batted in over 362 plate appearances. He was slightly below-average defensively as well, according to "defensive rating" (via FanGraphs). Overall, he was worth -0.4 wins above a replacement level player (fWAR).
Even after leaving Boston, Pierzynski's play offensively did not improve, as he posted a 72 wRC+ in 88 plate appearances with the Cardinals as compared to a 71 wRC+ with the Braves.
If Pierzynski can get over his dismal season and can rebound to even a replacement-level player, this signing would be a really interesting one for the Braves, who's retooling efforts this offseason might make them a sneaky contender in 2015. He will likely be the starter in Atlanta, in front of young catcher Christian Bethancourt. It is hard to know if he will be a good influence on the 23-year-old catcher.
Pierzynski was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1994 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. He has hit .281/.320/.424 in 17 major league seasons, while being a pretty good defender, spending time with the Twins, Giants, White Sox, Rangers, Red Sox, and the Cardinals.