Over the past few seasons the Texas Rangers have tried several catchers at the backstop position. They’ve used Mike Napoli, A.J. Pierzynski , J.P. Arencibia, and a few others. So far it looks like the mainstays have been Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez.
Recently in an article by Evan Grant from the Dallas News recently reported that the Texas Rangers are starting to look for an upgrade at catcher. Or at least find a lefty who will pair well with the right-handed Robinson Chirinos. There are several options on the market according to Grant that the Rangers will target who include Jonathan Lucory, Alex Avila, Stephen Vogt, and Hank Conger.
So there you have the main choices for the Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels to choose from next season for catchers. Yes, there are some in the minors, but the Rangers traded away two of their talented catchers who were getting close to being ready Jorge Alfaro, and Tomas Telis.
So who should Daniels pick up this offseason? Out of the choices given it appears that Avila looks to be the best choice. He’s a free-agent who made about $5 million last season with the Tigers. He had a down season and has been plagued with some injuries. That means that Rangers should be able to pick up the left-handed batter at a decent price. The other free-agent option Lucory bats right and wouldn’t make a good pairing according to what Daniels is looking for this offseason.
The other choices Vogt, and Conger would require an inter-division trade, which I don’t like. But, let’s get real here. There isn’t a real good market for catchers this offseason. There are a few options such as Matt Wieters and Chris Iannetta. But, Wieters is alread off the table because he accepted the qualifying offer from Baltimore. And I don’t see Ianneta as an upgrade over what the Rangers currently have.
In my opinion the Rangers won’t pickup anyone or make a trade this offseason for a catcher. Instead they’ll depend on Gimenez and Chirinos. Gimenez has continued to increase his value for the organization and I could see him being the primary catcher over Chirinos.
But, both have excellent work ethics, heart, and are talented. That’s exactly what the Rangers need going into Spring Training. Two catchers who will do everything to prepare for the upcoming season and do what ever it takes to make the team better.
During the recent General Manager meeting Jon Daniels talked about trade options and the Rangers current catchers saying the following.
"I think Robinson is a little bit of an underrated player. Gimenez did a great job for us. – Brian Taggart – MLB.com"
Combined with the lack of viable upgrades in free agency I doubt the Texas Rangers will acquire anyone this offseason. And because of that it seems likely Chirinos and Gimenez will remain the Rangers catchers. And that’s something I’m ok with for next season. Go find another good arm for the bullpen, work to re-sign Colby Lewis and possibly Mike Napoli. There are other things to worry about for the 2016 season.
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