Out with the old, in with the prospects.
That's the tenor in Boston at the moment, as the defending champion Red Sox have decided to designate veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and call up 23-year-old Christian Vazquez. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was first to report the news.
Pierzynski, one of the more interesting characters in baseball, signed a one-year, $8.25 million contract with the Red Sox last December. He's hitting .254/.286/.348 with four homers and 31 RBIs. That's not a stunning decline for Pierzynski, 37. He averages 16 homers a year and has a career batting average of .282.
More than anything, this is a signal that the last-place Red Sox (39-51) are shuffling things up. It remains to be seen whether that means they're throwing in the towel, lining up trades and giving their young guys more reps, or just trying to give a youthful boost to their roster. The first seems most prudent, but GMs can be stubborn in admitting this isn't their year.
Pierzynski figures to find a new gig somewhere relatively soon. Perhaps the Red Sox can swing a trade with another team looking for a veteran catcher, or Pierzynski may clear waivers and agree to a new contract.
There's a third possibility too — Pierzynski and his gift of gab jump to TV, where he could be put to work for the postseason. Many people believe that's where he'll land after his playing career is over.
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