Chicago White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski, center, is congratulated by third base coach Joe McEwing (47) as Minnesota Twins third baseman Danny Valencia, left, watches after Pierzynski hit a two-run home run against Twins pitcher Jeff Gray during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in Minneapolis. The White Sox won 4-3. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)
Target: A.J. Pierzynski, C
Type of move: Free agency
2012 stats: .278 batting average, .326 on-base percentage, 27 home runs, 77 RBIs, won a Silver Slugger award.
Pierzynski has never been a popular character in Major League Baseball. He's pretty much been universally hated in the game, including by his own teammates. However, the White Sox catcher apparently mellowed out a bit in his older age (35), and he's a free agent. Aside from Mike Napoli, he's probably the biggest free agent catcher name on the market. He would be a nice fit in Arlington for many reasons, most importantly because he's left-handed, which is something the Texas Rangers' lineup has lacked in recent years. He also has some power that could help replace Napoli, as evidenced by his career-high 27 homers. His 77 RBIs tied his career high he set back in 2004 when he was in his final season with the San Francisco Giants.
Pierzynski would also come quite a bit cheaper than Napoli, who is expected to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years and $35-40 million. Pierzynski could probably be had for a much more affordable 2 years at somewhere between $16-20 million and possibly an option for a third year.