A.J. Pierzynski has said he’d like to re-sign with the White Sox and new general manager Rick Hahn has said he’s open to bringing back the free agent catcher, but Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com put together five reasons why a reunion won’t be happening.
Some are money/roster based, while another is the fact that Tyler Flowers is 26 years old and if the White Sox think he has any kind of long-term future as a catcher in the big leagues it’s time to give him an extended opportunity.
Securing a multi-year contract might be tough for Pierzynski at age 35, but there are plenty of teams for whom he’d be a big upgrade coming off a season in which he hit .278 with career-highs in homers (27), RBIs (77), slugging percentage (.501), and OPS (.827). He’s not much of a defender at this point, but Pierzynski has been an above-average catcher offensively for basically his entire career.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.