The Texas Rangers agreed to terms with a familiar face last night, and Chirinos brings much more than just offensive firepower back to the lineup.
Robinson Chirinos and the Texas Rangers agreed to a one year, $6.75 million dollar deal last night, but there is more to the signing than just a familiar face. Chirinos played for Texas from 2013-2018, and cemented himself as a fan favorite for years to come. After spending a year with the Houston Astros, and making himself a household name with his lights out performance in the World Series, he makes his way back to Arlington with much more than just a big bat.
The Rangers needed to right their wrong from last offseason and bring back a solid catcher who brings much needed leadership, improved defensive metrics, and of course his offensive prowess to a young Texas Rangers clubhouse. The intangibles, I’d argue, are just as important, if not more, than his tangible performance that fans see everyday.
Leadership and Clubhouse Presence
Robinson Chirinos has always been an underrated player in the major leagues, but for anyone who has seen him in the community, locker room, or fan meetups, he is much more than a baseball player. He is a leader. It’s something that we as fans rarely see, because we aren’t in the clubhouse or dugout with him and his teammates. What we do know is that his current and former teammates speaks highly of his character. Jose Altuve spoke of how his presence changes the atmosphere of the clubhouse. Former Rangers manager Jeff Banister spoke highly of his leadership, saying that Chirinos and Adrian Beltre held the greatest say in the clubhouse. Seems like he is in very good company. Robby got the best out of his teammates, and he’ll be a great addition to a young clubhouse with young leaders. Joey Gallo, Shin-Soo Choo, and Elvis Andrus will all have another man to lean on, and it happens to be on old friend.
Community Work and Relationship with Fans
Outside of the clubhouse, Robinson Chirinos loves to take care of the community. He makes it well known that his Christian faith is very near to his heart and his family. Anytime he was given the chance, Chirinos was at the charity events. He was visiting children’s hospitals, passing out Thanksgiving turkeys, collecting Christmas toys and so much more.
I love to tell this story of my first time meeting Robby. It was on the Rangers Winter Caravan in 2017, and I arrived as early as I could to get my ticket and get in line. I was walking around the Academy in Abilene, minding my own business, and I turned down some random aisle to see Chirinos browsing. He wasn’t in his Rangers gear, but I managed to recognize him and slowly approached him in awe. He was as kind as could be, and we spoke about our faith and how Jesus impacted our lives. He spoke of how baseball was his ministry and he wanted to spread his faith with fans and players alike. That is a day, as a Rangers fan and baseball fan, I will never forget. He gained one more lifelong fan that day.
Chirinos means so much more to the Rangers than just his sweet swing, good defense, and clubhouse presence. He makes it a priority to take care of those who give him the opportunity to play the game he loves everyday. It’ll be a joy to get to watch him in the new Rangers uniforms this year, and hopefully for years to come.