The Pittsburgh Pirates have made it clear, the team will acquire at least one catcher this offseason. Apparently, they are interested in Robinson Chirinos.
One goal that has been publicly talked about by the Pittsburgh Pirates new General Manager Ben Cherington has been to add a catcher(s) this offseason. Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates saw the catching position go through significant regression. Francisco Cervelli was hurt for most of the season and Elias Diaz did not perform close to expectations. The team had to fall back to Jacob Stallings, who had actually cleared waivers earlier in the season.
Stallings proved that he deserves a roster spot on the team. He put together a solid final couple months and showed he should at least be the backup catcher. The team ended up nontendering Elias Diaz before the non-tender deadline, opening up an obvious spot to add a catcher.
According to reports, the Pittsburgh Pirates are interested in former Houston Astros and Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos. Chirinos is a 35-year-old catcher who has plus power and is solid behind the dish. Last year, Chirinos slashed .238/.347/.443 with 17 home runs in 114 games. While his batting average was low, his OBP and home run totals are where his value lie on the offensive side. Behind the plate, he made up for three defensive runs saved and grades out as an adequate pitch framer.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman is the one who attached the Pittsburgh Pirates to Robinson Chirinos. He mentioned that quite a few teams are interested in the power-hitting backstop. Here is what Heyman tweeted:
Chirinos is 35 years of age and likely will not get more than a two-year contract, if not one with an option. The Bucs are in a position of needing to find a veteran catcher to help now while the team tries to find one to develop for the future. Chirinos could be that guy.