The Texas Rangers announced a whole host of roster moves today, the day when players had to be activated from the 60 day disabled list and options had to be decided on. The most surprising news is that the Rangers opted to decline their 2019 team option on catcher Robinson Chirinos, as well as on pitchers Martin Perez, Doug Fister and Matt Moore.
Moore and Fister being declined were not surprises, and Perez was expected to have his option declined, though that was somewhat less definitive based on comments made by Jon Daniels late in the year. Chirinos, however, had a team option for $2.375 million with a $100,000 buyout — an amount that seemed like a significant underpay for the veteran catcher, to the extent that the Rangers picking up Chirinos’s option seemed like a no-brainer. The beat guys are mystified on Twitter about this decision, as am I, and we need to see what the explanation on this is, as it seems inexplicable.
In addition, Ryan Rua, Brandon Mann, Carlos Perez, Clayton Blackburn and Austin Bibens-Dirkx all cleared waivers and are expected to elect free agency. Rua could be considered a mild surprise, but given that he is arbitration eligible, out of options and has struggled in the majors the last couple of seasons, it seemed likely he was going to be a 40 man roster casualty at some point this offseason.
Finally, the Rangers activated Matt Bush, Nick Gardewine and Ronald Herrera from the 60 day disabled list.
With these moves, the Rangers’ 40 man roster is now at 33.
UPDATE — Per the beats, Chirinos’ option was $4.5 million due to escalators from playing time. Still, at $4.5 million for one year, you’d think it would be worth picking up the option, given that the Rangers don’t have any internal viable starting catching options, and the only internal option who might be capable of being a major league backup in 2019 is Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Jon Daniels says the Rangers are open to bringing Chirinos back, but weren’t willing to do so at that price. I remain baffled.