Daniels: Rangers not opposed to making catching upgrade

Will Robinson Chirinos be the Rangers' full-time catcher again in 2016?

Jerome Miron/Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers used journeyman catcher Chris Gimenez in their lineup for parts of the ALDS against the Toronto Blue Jays. While Gimenez hit pretty well for the Rangers down the stretch, playing for the injured Robinson Chirinos, the fact that he was their de facto No. 1 backstop in the postseason was not exactly a best-case scenario for the club.

That’s probably why GM Jon Daniels is quoted by MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart this week as having said that the team will ‘explore’ an upgrade this offseason if one presents itself. Said Daniels to that effect: 

“Tough position to fill,” general manager Jon Daniels said Wednesday at the General Managers Meetings at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. “I think that we have this industry-wide image of what you want, and we do, too, and it's easy to overlook what you have. I think Robinson is a little bit of an underrated player. Gimenez did a great job for us. You can always look to get better, and we will [explore] both depth and if there is an upgrade out there. We want to take inventory of the pluses those guys bring.”

The Rangers are said to believe in Chirinos as a full-time catcher, but he has two things going against himself in that conversation: age (31) and his injury-prone nature. Chirinos managed just 78 games in 2015 as a result of a lingering shoulder issue. Offensively, he was hit-or-miss (literally), hitting .232/.325/.438 with 10 home runs, 34 RBI and 62 strikeouts over a span of 233 official at-bats. 

One player Sullivan suggests the Rangers could be ‘in’ on if the price is right is Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles, who would hit free agency if he rejects the Orioles’ qualifying offer.