Astros Catcher: Deal of the Year?

All offseason I lobbied that the Astros should go bold in the acquisition of a starting catcher. Many in the Astros Twitter world demanded that the Astros trade whatever the Marlins wanted for J.T. Realmuto.

We were wrong. Jeff Luhnow made a far wiser investment. He signed Robinson Chirinos. Notice the big-name catchers the Astros could have signed or traded for and how each is currently performing:

I know it is early – too early for this kind of analysis. We will revisit this periodically throughout the year. That being said:

  • Chirinos is having a better season than Realmuto and Ramos — way better.
  • Grandal is having an unsustainably hot start at over three times the salary than Chirinos.

Even assuming Chirinos’s start is an anomaly, many of the projection systems calculate that the Astros catcher will end up with a WAR in the range of Ramos at 60% of the cost. Chirinos has made adjustments in his defense and his swing. Both seem to be paying off.

In the assessment of available catchers, the cost in prospects for Realmuto was too high and the cost to value for Ramos and Grandal was too high. Chirinos seems to be on the path to being just right. Thank you, Astros!

This is just further evidence of how good the front office and coaching staff is for the Astros. Fans, relax, you really are in Baseball Paradise.


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