Giants Waive Pierzynski, Agree to Deals

Tuesday, December 14th 2004, 7:18 pm
By: News On 6

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was placed on waivers Tuesday by the San Francisco Giants, one day after the team finalized a contract with free agent Mike Matheny.

The Giants also agreed to minor league contracts with 12 players, including left-hander Jeff Fassero.

After agreeing to a $10.5 million, three-year contract with Matheny, general manager Brian Sabean said the team wouldn't offer Pierzynski a contract by the Dec. 20 deadline, which would make him a free agent.

Pierzynski hit .272 with 11 homers and 77 RBIs in his only season in San Francisco but is not nearly as good a defensive player as Matheny. Pierzynski's representatives and the Giants were far apart on the catcher's worth.

``I want to thank A.J. for his contributions to the Giants last season,'' Sabean said. ``A.J. did his job here under difficult circumstances ... and still led the league in RBI for his position.''

Fassero, 41, was 3-8 with a 5.51 ERA in 111 innings for Colorado last season and appeared in one game for Arizona. In June, Fassero went against manager Clint Hurdle's instructions and pitched to Giants slugger Barry Bonds at Coors Field. Bonds hit a pitch off the plate over the left-field wall for a solo home run.

Fassero has a 116-116 record with 25 saves and a 4.09 ERA in 662 games, 235 of them starts. He's been to the playoffs three times, and is 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in six postseason games.

The 14-year veteran pitched for Giants manager Felipe Alou in Montreal from 1992-96. Fassero has also played for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.

The Giants also agreed to deals with pitchers Armando Almanza, Brian Cooper, Matt Kinney, Jeremy Fikac, Brandon Puffer and Brandon Villafuerte; catcher Yamid Haad; infielders Julio Cordido and Donaldo Mendez; and outfielders Doug Clark and Julio Ramirez.