Feb. 16: The Chirinos deal comes with a $1MM base salary in the big leagues plus another $500K of attainable incentives, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. He’ll also be provided multiple opt-out dates in the event that he’s not added to the Major League roster.
The 36-year-old Chirinos has been a very good offensive catcher since he earned a regular role with the Rangers in 2014, but he hit free agency at an inopportune time this winter after a rough campaign divided between Texas and the Mets. Chirinos only put up a .162/.232/.243 line with one home run and an ISO of .081 82 plate appearances in 82 plate appearances. Those numbers paled in comparison to the .235/.331/.445 mark with 85 HRs that Chirinos managed in 1,953 PA between the Rangers and Astros in the previous six seasons.
Chirinos has never been known as a major defensive asset, but if the Yankees are confident he’ll rebound at the plate, he could push Kyle Higashioka for their backup role behind starter Gary Sanchez. Higashioka is ace Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher, though Chirinos did catch Cole in 2019 when they were members of the Astros.