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.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.