Part of me thinks it's a negotation tactic. But, the report is out there. Jayson Stark of ESPN is reporting that the Phillies plan to go hard after veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski should Carlos Ruiz walk away from the Phillies as a free agent.
Here is why Pierzynski could make sense: Pierzynski will provide offense to a team that needs it. He is turning 37 next month and will not require a long-term deal. Should the Phillies believe that Tommy Joseph's 2014 will be what 2013 was supposed to be before he was derailed by a concussion, the Phillies do not want to be bogged down with a long-term contract to a catcher.
Here is why Pierzynski does not make sense: he is left-handed and he is 37 years old. And, some players find Pierzynski to be a pain in the neck. But, he has served the Twins, Giants, and Rangers well over the years.
Should the Phillies make another move with the outfield, such as what Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News thinks and Dennis Deitch of the Delaware County Times suggests, they could convert one of their left-handed outfielders to a right-handed bat, helping provide some balance.
Still, I wonder if this is part of a negotiation ploy with the Carlos Ruiz camp. My sense is that the Phillies have an offer on the table that is smaller than that of some of the other teams offering Ruiz a deal. But the Phillies do not want to go too long with Ruiz, still hoping for Joseph on the way. Ruiz very well could be sentimentally considering the Phillies on their shorter/lesser term and the Phillies are hoping that the emotional aspect will get the deal done. Let Ruiz know through the media that they are talking to another catcher could help him decide fast.