The Red Sox have designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment

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The Red Sox, with rumors of trading this or that player swirling, are apparently calling it a season. Or, at the very least, are trying something different than they tried heading into 2014. The move:

Pierzynski is experiencing his worst season at the plate since becoming a full-time big leaguer, hitting .254/.286/.348. Twenty-three year old Christian Vazquez has been called up. He and David Ross will be splitting catching duties for the duration, but it would make a lot more sense for Vasquez to get most of the reps.

Pierzynski is making $8.25 million this year. He’ll clear waivers and the Sox will be on the hook for the balance of that, but it’s unclear if any other team would want to take a chance on him. Worst case: we see A.J. working for TBS or Fox or whoever this postseason. He’s actually pretty darn good with that stuff.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.