According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post “there is mutual interest between the Marlins and A.J. Pierzynski, but he might be too expensive for Florida.”
Capozzi cites the $6.75 million Pierzynski made this season, but in reality there’s zero chance of him costing that much as a free agent in 2011. Pierzynski is 34 years old and coming off the worst season of his career, hitting .270 with a .300 on-base percentage and .388 slugging percentage for a .688 OPS after 10 straight years topping .700.
Toss in Ramon Hernandez re-signing with the Reds yesterday for one season and $3 million after having a significantly better year than Pierzynski and the market has pretty much been set for the veteran catcher. Even the penny pinching Marlins will be able to afford him, but the bigger issue is that Pierzynski is a Type A free agent.
Because the Marlins have the 14th pick in next year’s draft and the top 15 picks are protected from being free agent compensation they would instead send the White Sox their second-round pick for signing Pierzynski, but even that is a pretty steep price to pay for a mediocre 34-year-old catcher. Of course, that assumes the White Sox will offer Pierzynski arbitration by the November 23 deadline, which is far from a sure thing because he could simply accept the offer and force Chicago into a one-year deal for at least $6 million.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP
UPDATE, 5:08 PM EDT: Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will not rule out a World Series appearance for Kyle Schwarber if the Cubs advance. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that Schwarber could play through a simulated game on Sunday, during which the Cubs’ medical and baseball staff would evaluate his chances for a late season return. If he does play, it will likely be in a pinch-hitting or DH role and not on the field.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.