MLB Players: Top 10 old faces in new places for 2020

Houston Astros Robinson Chirinos Gerrit Cole. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros Robinson Chirinos Gerrit Cole. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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MLB Robinson Chirinos
Texas Rangers Robinson Chirinos (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

MLB Players: Top 10 old faces in new places for 2020

. robinson chirinos. 7. player. 126. .

How acquired: Signed as a free agent on Jan. 15

If the Texas Rangers’ new catcher looks an awful lot like their old catcher, there’s a reason for that. After playing parts of six seasons with Texas from 2013-18, Robinson Chirinos signed with the AL West-rival Houston Astros in December 2018.

After helping Houston return to the World Series, Chirinos opted to return to the Metroplex, re-signing with the Rangers on Jan. 15.

Chirinos will be 36 in June and the Venezuelan native is what he is at this point, a veteran backstop with some pop who gave the Astros some surprisingly good defensive work in 2019 after arriving with a reputation as a sub-par performer behind the dish.

Last season, he hit .238/.347/.443 in 114 games and 437 plate appearances, posting 17 homers, 58 RBI and 57 runs while also getting hit by pitch 13 times, fifth-most in the AL. That was down from his 19 plunkings in 2018. He was also seventh in the AL with a 1.7 defensive WAR.

During Houston’s postseason run, Chirinos hit .146/.222/.390 in 14 games and 45 plate appearances, with a double, three homers, four runs and four RBI mixed in with 17 strikeouts.

He homered in both Games 3 and 4 of the World Series at Washington, both wins for the Astros, and his home run in Game 4 of the ALDS at Tampa Bay accounted for Houston’s lone run in a 4-1 loss. But Chirinos was 0-for-8 with four strikeouts over the final two games of the World Series loss to the Nationals.

He signed a two-year, $12 million contract with Texas, with the second year a $6.5 million team option with a $1 million buyout.

As far as a projection, per the Depth Charts numbers at FanGraphs, Chirinos checks in at .227/.332/.418 with 14 home runs, 45 RBI and 43 runs.