Chirinos returns to Rangers; Texas signs 3B Todd Frazier

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Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers announced the club has signed free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos and third baseman Todd Frazier to one-year contracts covering the 2020 season with club options for the 2021 season.

Chirinos returns to the Rangers after spending one season with the Houston Astros, as he compiled a .238/.347/.443/.790 slash line last year with 17 home runs and 58 RBI while setting career highs in doubles (22), total bases (162), walks (51), and games (114) for the American League champs.  Over the last three years from 2017-19, Chirinos has a slash line of .237/.347/.451/.798 with 52 home runs and 161 RBI, ranking among the leaders at catcher in that span (minimum 250 games) in OPS (6th), home runs (7th), and RBI (8th).  He has played in the postseason in three of the last five years, and hit 3 home runs in 14 games for Houston in the 2019 playoffs.  Chirinos joins Elvis Andrus, Shin-Soo Choo, and Rougned Odor as the only active Rangers that appeared in the 2015-16 postseasons for Texas.

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The 35-year-old backstop has spent the bulk of his career in a Texas uniform, hitting 67 home runs with 197 RBI over six seasons and 442 games from 2013-18.  His 419 games caught with the Rangers rank fourth in team history, trailing only Jim Sundberg (1495), Ivan Rodriguez (1451), and Geno Petralli (556).  Chirinos was originally acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on April 8, 2013.  He has been extremely active with community work during his career through the Robinson Chirinos Foundation, and was selected as winner of the Rangers’ 2016 Jim Sundberg Community Award.

Frazier, who turns 34 on February 12, joins the Rangers after two seasons with the New York Mets in 2018-19.  He batted .251/.329/.443/.772 with 21 home runs and 67 RBI last season, leading New York-NL with 112 starts at third base.  He posted a .294 batting average and .913 OPS figure against left-handed pitching in 2019, ranking 23rd in the National League in OPS versus lefties.  The Mets had a 66-51 (.564) overall record when Frazier started in 2019, going 20-25 (.444) in his non-starts.

Frazier has hit at least 18 home runs in each of the last eight years, one of only eight players to accomplish that feat, joining Nelson Cruz, Edwin Encarnacion, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Carlos Santana, Kyle Seager, and Mike Trout.  The two-time All-Star owns a career .243 batting average with 214 home runs and 624 RBI over 1186 Major League games with Cincinnati (2011-15), Chicago-AL (2016-17), New York-AL (2017), and New York-NL (2018-19).  The New Jersey native has played primarily third base in his career with limited action at first base.

The Rangers have seven days to trade, release, or outright both Bird and Springs to the minor leagues.

Bird was on the Rangers’ 2019 Opening Day roster, and he posted no record with a 7.82 ERA over 12 relief appearances spanning five stints with the club before he was optioned for a final time on August 1.  He spent the balance of last season at Triple-A Nashville.  Bird was originally acquired from Tampa Bay in a three-team trade on December 21, 2018.

Springs was re-signed by Texas on December 13 after being designated for assignment and non-tendered on December 2.  He went 4-1 with a 6.40 ERA in 25 appearances with Texas in 2019 while missing nearly three months with left biceps tendinitis. He has spent his entire career in the Texas organization since being selected in the 30th round of the 2015 June draft.

Following today’s moves, the Rangers remain at the 40-man limit on the Major League roster.

From Rangers PR staff reports