(MCT) — CHICAGO — Catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s eight-year run with the White Sox, as productive in some ways as the 13-year tenure of Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, looks to be over.
Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year contract with the Rangers that is expected to be announced Friday, pending a physical. The Sox will turn to Tyler Flowers, 26, to replace him, and they know the risk is returning to revolving-door status at the position.
Before Pierzynski arrived as a free agent in 2005, the Sox juggled eight primary catchers over nine seasons. Fisk had turned the position over to Ron Karkovice, but the organization failed to develop a long-term replacement for Karkovice, a .221 career hitter.
Flowers has hit .205 in 108 major league games, but the Sox expect him to be a productive hitter with regular playing time. He split 2011 between Triple-A Charlotte and Chicago and batted .261 in the minors with 15 home runs in 65 games.
Sox general manager Rick Hahn declined to comment Thursday night on Pierzynski’s pending deal. He said at the winter meetings he would be comfortable entering the season with Flowers and Hector Gimenez, 30, as the catchers, but he continues to explore the catching market.
Pierzynski, 36, had hoped for a multiyear deal after hitting a career-high 27 home runs last year but found a tepid market, as was the case when he filed for free agency after the 2010 season. The Sox wound up re-signing him for two years that time and were in discussions with him again. Hahn seemed to feel it was more important to play Flowers and didn’t think that could happen with Pierzynski on the roster.