Cubs

Cubs add catching depth, sign former prospect Chirinos

Cubs
USA TODAY

The Cubs bolstered their catching depth Monday by signing veteran Robinson Chirinos to a one-year, big-league deal.

To make room for Chirinos, who's available Monday, on the roster, the Cubs designated catcher Taylor Gushue for assignment.

The Chirinos signing comes on the heels of the Cubs’ catching depth taking several painful hits in recent weeks. P.J. Higgins (right forearm strain) and Jose Lobaton (right shoulder sprain) each landed on the 60-day injured list.

Austin Romine has been on the 60-day IL with a wrist sprain since May.

"With all the injuries we’ve had at that position — he became available [Sunday] — the [front office] pounced on that," manager David Ross said Monday of the Chirinos signing.

Chirinos, 37, is the Cubs' sixth backup catcher behind Willson Contreras this season, following Romine, Tony Wolters, Higgins, Lobaton and Gushue.

Chrinos offers the Cubs an established backstop to spell Contreras, who is second among all catchers this season in innings caught. Ross lauded the veteran's receiving skills.

Chirinos is in his 10th big-league season and most recently played for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. The Cubs signed him as an amateur free agent in 2000, trading him to the Rays in 2011 with Chris Archer and other prospects as part of the Matt Garza deal.

"He’s happy to be back," Ross said. "He’s a nice addition. Infectious personality and he’s got a great reputation in the game."

 

Chirinos has spent the most time in his career with the Rangers, his club for seven seasons. He’s also played for the Astros and Mets. He also played for Venezuela last month as they competed for a spot in the upcoming Summer Olympics.

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