Pierzynski wants to return, but would consider Cubs

Pierzynski wants to return, but would consider Cubs

Pierzynski wants to return, but would consider Cubs
CHICAGO -- A.J. Pierzynski wants to stay with the White Sox after his two-year, $8 million contract expires at the end of the 2012 season.

It's a sentiment expressed by the catcher on numerous occasions. If the White Sox ultimately choose to go in a different direction, Pierzynski still wants to keep playing. And if Chicago becomes a city where Pierzynski would like to stay, then he wouldn't rule out overtures from the Cubs even after eight years on the South Side.

"Look, if I wanted to keep playing and they were the best option and they were the only option it would be hard to say no to any team," said Pierzynski of the Cubs, who traded catcher Geovany Soto to Texas at the non-waiver Deadline but still have Wellington Castillo and Steve Clevenger. "Would it be weird? Yeah. But at the same time, like I said, if they wanted me and they were the best option at the time, it would be hard to say no.

"Obviously I want to win, but it's about whatever the best fit is. It's not always about the money. At the end of the day, money is nice but at the same time, it comes down to more where you feel like you fit in the best, where you feel comfortable.

"Winning is a huge factor, but location for me is a huge factor with two young kids that are in school. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding what's going to happen. Obviously I'd love to stay here, but at the same time I know how it works so we'll see what happens."

Pierzynski certainly has given the White Sox plenty of reason to consider bringing him back, reasons beyond his strong handling of a young pitching staff. He homered in a fifth straight game during Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Angels, matching a franchise record done six other times, and giving him 21 for the year. Pierzynski, 35, is the oldest player to hit 20 for the first time in his career since Tony Phillips was 36 when he connected on 27 for the Angels in 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Those 21 homers give Pierzynski the Major League lead among catchers. Decisions on player options and free agents won't really be made by the White Sox until after the 2012 season.