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Chris Singleton on M&M: ‘I definitely don’t love’ A.J. Pierzynski joining Red Sox

12.03.13 at 1:18 pm ET
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ESPN’s Chris Singleton joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday morning to discuss the Red Sox’ reported acquisition of free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski on a one-year deal.

Chris Singleton

Chris Singleton

A two-time All-Star, Pierzynski hit .272/.297/.425 with 17 home runs last season with the Rangers. Pierzynski has been one of the most durable backstops in the league over the course of his career, as he’s played in at least 120 games in each of the last 12 seasons. Pierzynski has had success in Boston, as the 36-year-old has a career batting average of .322 at Fenway Park.

“I don’t love it, by any means,” Singleton said of the deal. “I thought going to Texas was a pretty good situation. … With the Red Sox, it just didn’t click for me. … I’m not saying it’s going to be a bad fit, but just knowing A.J. for a long time, he’s a guy that I’ve grown to like and I have respect for definitely what he’s done on the field. … He battles at the plate, and especially in late innings, when he just gives you some tough at-bats. That’s great.

“The biggest question … is clubhouse chemistry and how do things flow. … We know that A.J. can have a bit of an abrasive personality or way about him, and seeing what the Red Sox pulled together … It’s just one of those things where you’re like, ‘All right, hmm, let’s see how this kind of works.’ I’m not big on it. I’m not saying it’s going to sink the ship, but I definitely don’t love it.”

While Pierzynski should be a solid presence in the batter’s box, questions have been raised about his impact on the Sox clubhouse, as Pierzynski’s abrasive attitude has rubbed many players the wrong way over the years.

“Instead of the big blow that’s just an outburst, let’s say like guys we’ve seen in the past that have had issues, let’s say a Milton Bradley or somebody like that — it’s not like that,” Singleton said. “It’s more of a daily, kind of just going to eat at you. Sometimes it’s good, because players need a little bit of an edge or to be a little angry, but I think over time it can be hard for a team to absorb that over time.”

While Pierzynski should be an upgrade defensively over Jarrod Saltalamacchia and can call a good game behind the plate, David Ross remains the top defensive catcher on the roster.

“Just look at last year, how many times did Yu Darvish have near no-hitters and A.J. was behind the dish?” Singleton said. “That says something. … I think he can be solid and good, but it’s just a matter of will he keep that up, because he’s a hitting catcher.”

To listen to the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: A.J. Pierzynski, Chris Singleton, MLB, Red Sox Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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