Pierzynski agrees to 2-year, $8M contract with White Sox
The White Sox are holding a news conference at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday afternoon, ostensibly to discuss the signing of free-agent slugger Adam Dunn to a four-year, $56 million contract.
Add catcher A.J. Pierzynski to the docket.
Late Thursday night, the 33-year-old workhorse agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract, according to a source.
When asked to confirm the signing late Thursday, Sox general manager Kenny Williams told the Daily Herald: "We will speak on all matters tomorrow."
Earlier in the day, Williams made it sound like he wouldn't get around to trying to bring Pierzynski back until Paul Konerko was taken care of.
"We've had conversations; we've had a lot of conversations," Williams said of Pierzynski. "Again, I value A.J. I would love to have him back. My dilemma right now is, do you take such an overture and let it take you out of the payroll zone that you may need to get a Paul Konerko back? We're in a holding pattern because to be honest, the next thing I would like to put back in a Sox uniform is Paul Konerko."
Pierzynski batted .270 with 9 home runs and 56 RBI this year. From Aug. 12 to the end of the season, Pierzynski batted .364, the highest average in the American League.
In addition, Pierzynski caught more than 1,000 innings for the ninth straight season.
In a show that money wasn't the most important factor, Pierzynski agreed to the two-year, $8 million deal after making $18.35 million over the past three seasons.
"I certainly value A.J.," Williams said earlier Thursday. "He's a part of our clubhouse and a part of Chicago."
Carlos Quentin's name has been all over the rumor mill this off-season, but GM Kenny Williams said the injury-prone outfielder is not going anywhere.
"Carlos Quentin plays right field for us," Williams said. "And (manager) Ozzie Guillen's going to decide where he hits in the lineup."
Quentin played in 131 games this season and batted .243 with 26 home runs and 87 RBI.
Bump it up:
The White Sox exercised their 2011 club option on Alexei Ramirez, who opted out of the final year of his four-year contract that would have paid $1.1 million.
Ranmirez's salary is going to rise to $2.75 million, which is still a bargain for the Sox.
In addition to playing stellar defense, Ramirez was the American League Silver Slugger, batting .282 with 29 doubles, 18 home runs and 70 RBI.