Pierzynski agrees to deal with Rangers

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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, is over.

Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers, which is expected to be announced on Friday. The White Sox will look to 26-year-old Tyler Flowers 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 different 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 games but the White Sox expect him to be a productive hitter with regular playing time. He split 2011 between Triple-A Charlotte and Chicago, and when in the minors batted .261 with 15 home runs in 65 games.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn declined to comment on Pierzynski’s pending deal Thursday night. He said at the winter meetings that he’d be comfortable to enter the season with Flowers and 30-year-old backup Hector Gimenez as the catchers but continues to explore the catching market.

Pierzynski, 36, had hoped for a multi-year 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 White Sox wound up re-signing him for two years contract that time and were in discussions with them again. Hahn seemed to feel it was more important to play Flowers and didn’t think that could happen with Pierzynski on the roster.

By Tribune reporter Phil Rogers
Copyright © 2012 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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