Robinson Chirinos announced his retirement today. The 38 year old catcher had two stints with the Texas Rangers, and was both a solid player and a popular figure with fans and the media.
Chirinos was originally an infielder, signed as a 16 year old out of Venezuela by the Chicago Cubs in 2000. He started catching in his age 24 season, and ended up getting traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in January, 2011, as part of the deal that sent Chris Archer to Tampa and Matt Garza to the Cubs.
Chirinos got 20 games of major league action with the Rays in 2011, then missed all of 2012 due to a concussion. He was purchased by the Rangers at the start of the 2013 season and spent most of the year in Round Rock, though he had several brief stints in the majors with Texas that year when they needed to pull a catcher up from the minors.
From 2014 through 2018 Chirinos was a fixture on the Rangers roster. He inevitably would be assigned the back up catcher role but then would exceed expectations, earning more and more playing time as time went on. As a late convert to catching he was never considered a great defender, but he worked hard and improved his defense during his tenure in Texas.
In a surprise move, the Rangers declined their club option on him after the 2018 season. He ended up signing with the Houston Astros for 2019 for more than what the Rangers declined to pay him and had his best season, putting up a 3.9 bWAR in 114 games.
Chirinos re-signed with Texas for 2020 but things didn’t click, and he was dealt at the deadline to the New York Mets. He signed with the New York Yankees in 2021 and was at AAA for them until being released in mid-season and re-joining the Chicago Cubs, playing 45 games for them. Chirinos spent the 2022 season backing up Adley Rutschmann in Baltimore.
Chirinos was a fun player to root for and exceeded all expectations with Texas. Here’s to a successful career and, hopefully, a happy post-playing life.