The Texas Rangers are signing free-agent catcher Robinson Chirinos to a one-year deal.
League sources told ESPN and MLB Media on Tuesday night that Chirinos agreed to a one-year, $6.75 million deal with the Rangers. The club hasn’t confirmed the agreement, which is pending a physical.
The contract includes a $5.75 million base salary for the 2020 campaign, according to ESPN. Chirinos’ deal also has a club option for 2021 that is worth $6.5 million with a $1 million buyout.
Chirinos made his MLB debut with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011. He was traded to the Rangers in April 2013 and spent six seasons with Texas before joining the Houston Astros in free agency last off-season.
Chirinos played in a career-high 114 regular-season games in Houston last season and recorded a .238 batting average with 17 home runs and 58 RBIs. In his final season before leaving the Rangers in 2018, he set career highs in homers (18) and RBIs (65).
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In 576 career games between the Rays, Rangers and Astros, Chirinos has a career .234 batting average with 85 home runs and 262 RBIs.
The Rangers did not exercise a friendly club option on Chirinos in November 2019 and quickly signed veteran Jeff Mathis to a two-year deal, saying they were placing more value on defense than offense.
Mathis’ struggled to one of the worst offensive seasons in baseball, batting only .158 with a meager .433 OPS, and the Rangers had the worst offensive production at the position.
Chirinos, 35, had the good fortune of catching Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and runner-up Gerrit Cole last season as the Astros went to the World Series, losing in seven games to the Washington Nationals.
Mathis and rookie Jose Trevino are on the 40-man roster. Daniels said on Monday that the Rangers would bring both to spring training even if a catcher was added to a big-league deal.
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