Houston Astros have expressed interest to bring Robinson Chirinos back

Free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos who just finished up 2019 with the Houston Astros (Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos who just finished up 2019 with the Houston Astros (Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Robinson Chirinos has drawn the interest of several teams, including the Houston Astros as he enters free agency. Would it be prudent to re-sign the vet?

The Houston Astros are hot and heavy within the boundaries of free agency and it will be interesting to see what comes up next as far as who they’ll sign — or re-sign — to try to build this roster for 2020.

The runner-ups to this season’s Fall Classic will be busy at work trying to attempt to field yet another team that can contend for a title.  With most of the core players like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Yuli Gurriel and Michael Brantley under contract, their pursuit of another title will be strong.

George Springer is the only member of the core where there is some doubt but I’m confident that this team is going to get a deal done.

Springer just finished up a two-year, $24 million deal and is now going into this final season of arbitration before becoming a free agent in 2021.

There are estimates that have Springer’s arbitration worth $21.4M for 2020.  The Houston Astros can either pay him that amount for next season or try to hammer out a long-term deal that starts next season, saving the team money over time.

I’m sure the Houston Astros prefer the latter and a five-year, $100 million deal should be the starting point for one of the greatest Houston Astros to ever don a uniform.  I’ll go more into depth about Springer another day but I just wanted to let you know what’s the latest with him.

But an important dilemma the Houston Astros have is how to address the depth issues they have at the catching position.

Both Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado are free agents and Garrett Stubbs is the best catcher that’s still under contract with the Houston Astros.

Although I was quite critical of the Chrinos signing last winter, I was amazed at how good he was for the Houston Astros, especially with his superior defense at the plate and his ability for his bat to get hot at times.

There were some cold spells he had throughout 2019 but it didn’t take away from his overall impact of helping this team win games.

Chirinos, even at age 35, still can make an impact for this team and I think a two-year, $16 million deal should be fair for his services.

Chirinos was 7th among AL catchers in defensive WAR (1.7), 2nd in putouts (1,078), 3rd in assists (51), first in range factor/game as a catcher (10.08) and 5th in fielding percentage (.995).

He also caught every start for Verlander last season so that’s a testament to his talent within itself.

That’s enough evidence for me to warm up the printer for a fresh contract for Robby.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Houston Astros want to bring him back but they’ll

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have to compete with the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers.  These teams have the cash to get him what he wants with the two latter teams likely having even more.  So if he’s looking to cash in, he might be headed elsewhere.

For a guy that’s made $13.7 million over his career, that’s a strong possibility but if he wants to win, his best shot would be with the Houston Astros.  The Reds or the Rangers likely won’t be contending for anything in 2020 and the talented Mets could do so but Chirinos will be in the shadow of Wilson Ramos, to whom they still have about $20 million committed to him.

I’d imagine he’d still want to be the featured catcher and he’ll get that exclusivity here in Houston.

We’ll have to see how things pan out but I like the great chances that the Houston Astros have to sign him to a deal.

I honestly think it’s imminent.

Next. Astros: Yuli Gurriel's extension is absolutely essential to team. dark

Chirinos had a slash line of .238/.347/.443 along with 17 homers and 58 RBIs through 366 plate appearances in 114 games this past season.