(WSCR) Former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen famously said everyone in baseball hates A.J. Pierzynski – if you play with him, however, you hate him just a little bit less.
Hated or not, one baseball expert thinks the 35-year-old catcher belongs in the MVP discussion. He’s currently batting .299 with a career-high 23 home runs and 67 RBIs.
“Assuming he’s on your team, you’re going to love him,” CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman told The Mully and Hanley Show. “No question about that. He had the great play with Josh Paul in the playoffs against the Angels. They hate him in Anaheim. He’s hated in many places. I’m sure Ron Washington wasn’t thrilled with him complaining about the All-Star game. He was right about that, by the way. (Pierzynski) should have been on the All-Star team. He’s even an MVP candidate, at least in the discussion. He’s a terrific player, a very instinctual player, helps his team win. He’s a very important player for that team.
LISTEN: Jon Heyman on The Mully and Hanley Show
Before the start of the 2011 season, the White Sox re-signed Pierzysnki to a two-year, $8 million contract, which expires at the end of this season. While he stands to receive a significant raise, Heyman thinks Pierzynski will return to the South Side.
“I know that his contract is up. He’s obviously in the path for taking less to stay there. He obviously loves it there and he’s going to do the negotiation thing,” Heyman said. “I would expect that he’ll be back with the White Sox.
“He’s going to get at least two (years.) And two at very good money, based on what he’s done. They obviously got a great deal on him last time. The Dodgers had offered a bit more, I think it was maybe $1 million or two more each year, or something like that. Nothing outrageous. He’s going to get an enormous raise. I would think it would be on a two-year deal.”