The latest news for Cardinal Nation is that A.J. Pierzynski is already in Chicago and an announcement of the signing will be made before tomorrow afternoon’s game. The news came this afternoon that George Kottaras had reportedly cleaned out his locker after less than two weeks with the club after being claimed off waivers by the Cardinals on the 11th of July. Kottaras caught just 11 innings for the team.
The Cardinals are in a hunt for catching help and earlier today were rumored to be in negotiations to acquire Minnesota’s Kurt Suzuki. I felt he would be the best fit, as I mentioned him a couple weeks ago. Perhaps the price got a little high for the Cardinals as the Orioles were also rumored to be in pursuit.
Tony Cruz, the club’s backup catcher the past three seasons, was given the first opportunity to stake his claim to the lineup spot. However, like most Cardinals’ hitters this season, he wasn’t hitting nearly enough. He has posted a .167 batting average since Yadier Molina went on the disabled list. The pitching staff also has a 4.06 ERA since Molina went down. Combine all that, and the club began seriously searching the catching market.
Pierzynski, 37, will likely be brought in for the league minimum. That leaves Boston holding the bag on the rest of the $8.75 million he’s owed for this season. He hit .254 with a 77 OPS+ in 72 games with Boston. Behind the plate he had -4 defensive runs saved and threw out just 19% of would be base stealers.
Personally, I feel it’s a move of desperation by the Cardinals and John Mozeliak. Maybe I’m wrong and it will turn out fabulously. I do like to give Mozeliak the benefit of the doubt. But with all the news that came out following his departure from the Red Sox, and I’m aware there’s some he-said-she-said going on there, but where there is smoke, there’s fire. Maybe he was just misunderstood and never allowed to enter the clubhouse clique in Boston. Maybe not. I think I’d have rather not found out.