Last week several reports had the Rangers interested in A.J. Pierzynski and now Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago writes that the free agent catcher was in Texas to meet with the team today.
After losing Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli the Rangers have been looking for lineup help and the left-handed-hitting Pierzynski would be a nice fit among their mostly right-handed bats.
He’s coming off a career-year in which he hit .278 with 27 homers and an .827 OPS in 135 games for the White Sox, but 35-year-old catchers tend not to be such good bets and Pierzynski last topped an .800 OPS in 2003.
Right now Geovany Soto sits top the Rangers’ catching depth chart, but a Pierzynski-Soto platoon could be very productive matched up based on lefties/righties.
The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short. Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances, though he was much, much better in the first half than the second half.
The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have signed lefty Jeff Locke. Terms have yet to be disclosed.
Locke was non-tendered by the Pirates last week after putting up a 5.44 ERA over 127.3 innings in 2016. He’s just 29 and, even if he’s never been super great or anything, he has pitched better in the past, posting a career 4.16 ERA before last season.