The former White Sox catcher downplayed Texas manager Ron Washington's much-publicized snub of Pierzynski for July's All-Star Game.
ARLINGTON, Texas — A.J. Pierzynski can joke with Texas manager Ron Washington about last season’s All-Star snub now that he’s the starting catcher for the Rangers.
They shared a laugh over lunch a few days before Wednesday’s announcement that Pierzynski’s one-year free-agent contract with Texas was complete. Both considered the All-Star issue dead after it happened in July, even though Pierzynski had a cryptic retort when Washington explained the difficulty of the decision.
“Everybody keeps trying to make a big deal out of it, but I’ve known Wash for a really long time,” Pierzynski said. “It’s not going to change the way I feel about Ron Washington because I know what he’s done in this game and I know where he stands and what he’s all about. It’s over and done with for me.”
Washington said Pierzynski will be the primary catcher, pushing Geovany Soto to the backup role after he re-signed as a free agent. Pierzynski hit .278 with a career-high 27 home runs in 135 games for the Chicago White Sox, while Soto took a pay cut after hitting .196 in 47 games following a trade with the Chicago Cubs.
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Pierzynski, a two-time All-Star who has been to the playoffs four times and won the 2005 World Series with the White Sox, has long been known as an irritant to opposing players and even someone who didn’t always please his teammates either. Washington says he always felt otherwise.
“I always loved him; I never hated him,” Washington said. “I always loved him because he always believed he did anything and everything he had to do to try to beat you. I admired that.”
The Rangers needed a left-handed power hitter after losing All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton in free agency to the Los Angeles Angels. They also had a void at catcher because Mike Napoli, a key to Texas reaching a second straight World Series in 2011, bolted for Boston.
Soto became a free agent when the Rangers didn’t agree to a contract before a deadline earlier this month. But he eventually agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract, a more than 20 percent decrease from his $4.3 million pay last season. Terms of Pierzynski’s deal weren’t disclosed.
Red Sox acquire RHP Hanrahan
BOSTON — The Red Sox acquired All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a six-player deal.
Boston completed the trade Wednesday, also receiving infielder Brock Holt.
The Red Sox gave up right-handers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands.
Over the past two seasons, the right-handed Hanrahan had 76 saves, fourth-most in the National League, and a 2.24 ERA. Last season, he was 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and 36 saves.
Holt spent most of last season at Class AA Altoona, then hit .292 in 24 games with the Pirates.
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