The Rangers have declined club options over catcher Robinson Chirinos and pitchers Doug Fister, Matt Moore, and Martin Perez. That’s a surprising move on the veteran backstop, though all three hurlers seemed destined to be sent onto the open market.
The Texas organization has also announced a long list of players who were outrighted from the 40-man roster. Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Clayton Blackburn, Brandon Mann, Carlos Perez, and Ryan Rua are all weighing outright assignments after seemingly clearing waivers.
Chirinos, 34, had seemed a fairly easy choice to remain behind the dish in Texas. His option had risen in value to $4.5MM due to plate-appearance escalators, Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes on Twitter, but the team will pay him $1MM just to walk away.
While Chirinos is not noted for his skill behind the dish — in particular, he slipped to dreadful framing ratings in 2018 — he’s a highly respected player. And he also has consistently delivered much more offensive than the average catcher, with a .233/.324/.438 career slash and 35 home runs over the 735 plate appearances he has accrued since the start of 2017.
All three pitchers will be looking for bounceback opportunities after forgettable seasons. Fister will receive a $500K buyout; his option was priced at $4.5MM. The Moore deal included a $750K buyout, which he’ll take home in lieu of a $10MM payday. Perez, meanwhile, gets $1MM in total buyouts as the club passes on its chance to keep him in 2019 ($7.5MM) and 2020 ($9MM).