Austin Bibens-Dirkx

Robinson Chirinos
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Rangers decline option on Robinson Chirinos

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Amid a flurry of moves on Friday, the Rangers declined a $4.5 million club option on catcher Robinson Chirinos. According to comments from general manager Jon Daniels, the team hasn’t officially closed the door on a reunion with their starting backstop, but would prefer to explore alternatives to Chirinos (and 25-year-old backup catcher Jose Trevino) as more free agents become available over the offseason.

Chirinos, 34, rounded out his sixth campaign with the Rangers in 2018. Despite some defensive struggles, he made a compelling case for his return in 2019 after registering a career-high 18 home runs and 65 RBI while batting .222/.338/.419 through 426 plate appearances. Per MLB.com’s TR Sullivan, he was in line to receive a base salary of $2.375 million for the 2019 season, with incentives that brought the total price tag up to the $4.5 million mark.

The Rangers also declined contract options on left-handers Doug Fister and Martin Pérez and right-hander Matt Moore. Right-handers Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Clayton Blackburn, lefty Brandon Mann, catcher Carlos Pérez, and first baseman/outfielder Ryan Rua were all outrighted to Triple-A Nashville to clear space on the 40-man roster.