On one hand A.J. Pierzynski played poorly for the Red Sox while being paid $8.25 million and was released two-thirds of the way through his one-year contract.
On the other hand the Red Sox, as they so often do, badmouthed Pierzynski through the media on his way out of town and painted him in the worst possible light.
So now that he’s in St. Louis should the 37-year-old catcher be angry with how things went in Boston? After his Cardinals beat the Red Sox yesterday Pierzynski explained that he has “no hard feelings”:
I love Boston. The city, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed the heck out of it. Boston was great. I have no hard feelings. I know everyone expects me to be bitter and to be mad but I’m not, I’m really not. It was great. …
It seems like every time someone’s let go from a team, no matter what team it is, there’s always something that’s said. That’s just the way it is in sports today and the way it is in everything today, in life today. Nobody said anything to me while I was there so whatever was said after I left is not a big deal to me.
Pierzynski has hit .320 with a .730 OPS in seven games for the Cardinals after hitting .254 with a .633 OPS in 72 games for the Red Sox.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.