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Pierzynski feels welcome, not rejected, with Rangers

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • December 26, 2012 - 7:05 PM

A.J. Pierzynski can joke with Texas manager Ron Washington about last season's All-Star snub now that he's the starting catcher for the Rangers.

They shared a laugh over lunch a few days before Wednesday's announcement that Pierzynski's one-year free-agent contract with Texas was complete.

"I've known Wash for a really long time," Pierzynski said. "It's not going to change the way I feel about Ron Washington because I know what he's done in this game and I know where he stands and what he's all about. It's over and done with for me."

Washington said Pierzynski, a two-time All-Star, will be the primary catcher, pushing Geovany Soto to the backup role.

"I always loved him; I never hated him," Washington said. "I always loved him because he always believed he did anything and everything he had to do to try to beat you."

Pierzynski hit .278 with a career-high 27 home runs in 135 games for the Chicago White Sox, while Soto took a pay cut after hitting .196 in 47 games following a trade with the Chicago Cubs.

The Rangers needed a lefthanded power hitter after losing All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton in free agency to the Los Angeles Angels.

They also had a void at catcher because Mike Napoli, a key to Texas reaching a second consecutive World Series in 2011, bolted for Boston.

Pierzynski's departure means the White Sox likely will hope that catcher Tyler Flowers, a .205 hitter in 273 major league at-bats over four seasons, can help fill Pierzynski's shoes.

Red Sox add Hanrahan

The Boston Red Sox, coming off a 69-93 season and last-place AL East finish, completed a deal acquiring All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pirates along with infielder Brock Holt. The Red Sox gave up righthanders Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands. Boston also announced the signing of shortstop Stephen Drew, who agreed to a one-year contract early last week.

Over the past two seasons, Hanrahan had 76 saves, fourth-most in the National League, and a 2.24 ERA. Last season, he was 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and 36 saves.

Andruw Jones arrest

The wife of former Atlanta Braves star Andruw Jones accused him of dragging her down a staircase, grabbing her neck and saying he wanted to kill her, according to police records.

A police report obtained by the Associated Press said the fight happened around 1:30 a.m. on Christmas Day, after Nicole Jones asked her husband to help her prepare their suburban Atlanta home for Christmas morning. Andruw Jones was free on bond after his arrest on a battery charge, according to Gwinnett County records. It wasn't known Wednesday whether he has an attorney.

Etc.

• The Mariners officially announced their $2.75 million, one-year deal with outfielder Raul Ibanez, returning the veteran to where he began his major league career in 1996. Ibanez, 40, hit .240 with 19 homers and 62 RBI in 384 at-bats for the Yankees last season.

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