Texas Rangers rumors: Club interested in reuniting with Robinson Chirinos
By Kenneth Nash
The Texas Rangers could be looking for reinforcements and catcher with the thought of reuniting with Robinson Chirinos a possibility.
Despite Jose Trevino emerging as a viable candidate behind the plate last year, the Texas Rangers could still be looking to bolster their catching unit this offseason. Catcher was consistently the biggest hole in the Rangers lineup last season with the plan to make Jeff Mathis the number one guy going fairly poorly.
As of now, both Mathis and Trevino look set to be the catching tandem on the Rangers roster but Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweeted out Wednesday that Texas, along with the Astros and Reds, are interested in signing veteran catcher Robinson Chirinos.
For the Rangers, bringing back Chirinos would be almost an acknowledgement that the club should’ve never let the veteran go last offseason when he signed with Houston. At the time, his departure, particularly to an in-state rival, was met with criticism by fans.
Chirinos was productive in Houston during his one-year stint there which saw him play in a World Series. The 35-year old hit .238 last season with 17 home runs and a .790 OPS. He posted a 2.3 fWAR in Houston which was the highest total of his career.
With the Rangers looking to open up a new ballpark, bringing back a familiar face and fan favorite who also happens to fill a position that could use upgrading would be impactful. At 35, Chirinos likely isn’t looking for a multi-year deal and we know how fond he is of the Rangers and their fans. It would eat a bit into their budget this offseason as they look to make a number of additions to their roster but he would help them win games.
If the Rangers do pursue Chirinos it would likely spell the end of Jeff Mathis’ time in Arlington. The veteran, known for his defensive ability, hit just over .150 last season and was often the recipient of a lot of Rangers’ fans angst. His contract only has a year remaining with about $3 million left to pay. Texas likely would just release Mathis and eat the remainder of his salary.