Yesterday, the Braves and 39 year old veteran A.J. Pierzynski agreed to a one year deal worth $3 mil with a $2 mil base salary and $1 mil signing bonus with a chance to earn up to $1 mil more in incentives. This deal was reported by the famous Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal also said that Pierzynski turned down a bigger deal from other teams to stay in Atlanta.
Now, Pierzynski may be turning 39 years old in December, but his age did not factor last season with the Braves. Pierzynski had a stat line of .300/.339/.430 with 9 homers and 49 RBIs. The veteran played in 113 games as Atlanta’s primary catcher. Pierzynski also threw out 24% of opposing base-stealers, which was below the league’s average, but A.J. did reach his career norms. Pierzynski presence in the clubhouse should have the Braves heading in a good direction once again.
Next, with the Braves retaining Pierzynski you can just quit putting rumors of Matt Wieters on joining the Braves this off-season. The Twins and Yankees seemed to be a potential landing spot for Pierzynski until he resigned withe Braves and the Twins traded for John Ryan Murphy.
Finally, Pierzynski seems to be the starter for the 2016 season while young catcher Christian Bethancourt continues to develop. Bethancourt is running out of time in Atlanta with his poor performances, but is still controllable. He struggled big time offensively in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, Bethancourt hit .200/.225/.290/.515 with 2 homers and 12 RBIs. Bethancourt played in 48 games and also threw out 45% of base-stealers. Bethancourt defensively has grown a lot which could keep him in Atlanta as a defensive replacement especially since Pierzynski is not that great with the glove and Pierzynski is much older and could be on a innings watch.
Overall: Good signing and maybe at the trade deadline next season the Braves could receive a nice piece for Pierzynski (if he is having a decent year).