Captain Obvious on the Possible Re-Signing of A.J. Pierzynski
Not a smart idea.
As I’m getting acclimated to White Sox land, I am quickly learning that St. Louis beatwriters > White Sox beatwriters. I’m guessing this is stuff I probably should learn to ignore.
Take it away, Joe Cowley:
With Brent Lillibridge falling short of expectations, the Javy Vazquez deal is starting to look one-sided, especially with Flowers looking lost at the plate this spring.
Wait. There were expectations for Lillibridge? But forget Lillibridge for now.
Tyler Flowers major league equivalent line from last season was .249/.349/.418. If you can buy CHONE projections, Tyler Flowers projects to be a more productive player than A.J. Pierzynski this season, if given the opportunity. Pierzynski is projected for a wRC+ of 90, Flowers, 99. But Tyler Flowers looked lost at the plate in a handful of games, so trade his sorry behind. After all, with all of his walks and slowness, he’ll just probably clog the bases.
Moving on to Plan B now, let’s re-sign A.J.! Ugh. What value has A.J. Pierzynski since signing his extension in 2007? According to his Rally’s WAR, which factors in baserunning and defense, A.J. was worth just 1.9 WAR over the past two seasons. His CHONE projection has him down for 1.8 WAR this season. If he hits that projection, that will be $18.9 million spent for 3.7 WAR; over $5 million per win. I’m not here to say the extension wasn’t a justifiable deal at the time, it absolutely was. It’s just that Pierzynski, wrasslin’ moves and all, isn’t quite all that he’s hyped up to be in the minds of some fans and media members. And a few at bats in spring training certainly doesn’t tell us that Flowers is not what he’s hyped up to be.