BOSTON — The Red Sox began rebuilding for their World Series title defense Wednesday when they signed free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year contract.
Pierzynski, a left-handed hitting two-time All-Star will be 37 next season. The Red Sox are hoping prospects Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart will be ready in 2015.
Pierzynski batted .272 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs last season with Texas — the 13th straight season in which he has caught at least 110 games. In 13-plus seasons with the Twins, Giants, White Sox and Rangers, Pierzynski is a .283 hitter with 172 homers and 800 RBIs, with a .322 average in 33 games at Fenway Park.
Pierzynski made the All-Star Game in 2002 and 2006 and won the World Series with the White Sox in 2005. He has a .300 career average with five homers and 17 RBIs in the postseason.
• Veteran slugger Paul Konerko is returning to the White Sox. The team announced Wednesday that the six-time American League All-Star agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract, opting to come back for another season rather than retire or sign elsewhere.
• Left-hander Scott Kaz-mir finalized his $22 million, two-year contract with the Athletics.
• Tigers agreed to terms with free agent reliever Joe Nathan on a two-year contract with a club option for 2016 on Wednesday. Nathan had 43 saves in 46 chances for Texas last season.