Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times has just reported that the Blue Jays could be close to signing catcher A.J. Pierzynski, formerly of the Chicago White Sox.  With the catching position not fully determined, the Jays seem to be looking for insurance behind the plate.  Chicago didn’t offer arbitration to Pierzynski, so the signing would not cost the Blue Jays a draft pick.

J.P. Arencibia didn’t get a lot of experience calling the game at the major league level last year, so he might not yet be ready, and Jose Molina is there as a back-up only.  

The durable 34-year old catcher fell off offensively somewhat this past year, as he batted .270/.300/.388 with nine homers in 503 plate appearances.  

Admittedly, Pierzynski seems like a strange choice for the Blue Jays.  The veteran is both an above average defender and batter, but he is known for his rather controversial (some would say abrasive) personality.  

The Blue Jays have a strong bond in their dugout, especially with their pitching staff, so it would make sense to question whether his style of play would meld with the personalities already present.  

With the young starters forming a strong bond this past season and excelling on the mound, it is important to have a catcher that can work with them and continue their development.  

Anthopoulos is no doubt aware of this and wants to take no chances on having someone dependable at catcher.  Pierzynski has been around a long time, and his experience in dealing with pitchers and calling games cannot be underestimated.


Update: A few hours after Cowley reported that Pierzynski was close to signing with the Blue Jays, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports denied that was the case and instead said that the veteran catcher was close to signing a two year deal with the White Sox.

Whether the Jays were actually close to signing Pierzynski remains to be seen, but once again leaves the catcher position somewhat unstable.  There is a chance they could still offer a contract to Miguel Olivo, who they obtained from Colorado but didn’t offer arbitration to.  Or, the Blue Jays could stand pat with what they have, and see how Arencibia and Molina perform together in spring training.

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