Hendry has had numerous meetings with representatives for free agents and has talked to other teams about trade possibilities. The Cubs and Texas Rangers were scheduled to get together to talk about possible matchups. Texas has a need for catching and the Cubs have two solid young catchers in Welington Castillo and Robinson Chirinos. Texas has an abundance of good hitting in their organization and they have excess at first base, a position where the Cubs have a need.â†µ
Left-handed hitting Chris Davis is a home-run hitter who turns 25 in March. Davis only played 45 games for the Rangers in 2010. However, in 2008 and 2009 combined he hit 37 home runs in 193 games. The Cubs could make Davis their everyday first baseman and put the money they have available this offseason toward starting pitching and the bullpen.â†µ
Castillo, 23, bounced back from an awful (.232/.275/.386) 2009 while repeating the Double-A level to post a reasonable .255/.317/.498 line in Triple-A Iowa. He is regarded as a solid defender and managed a cup of coffee (seven games) with the Cubs.â†µ
The primary reason that the note is of interest to me is Robinson Chirinos. I'm a fan of his. He turned 26 in June and split the season in AA/AAA, but that doesn't really tell the whole story. Chirinos is a converted infielder, with over 500 games in the middle infield under his belt, as well as some time at each corner. The Cubs converted him to catching full time in 2009 and saw dramatic defensive progress. He now projects as a legitimate major league receiver, and, at the same time, his bat has taken a big step forward as he has added strength in the past couple of years.â†µ
Through 2007 he had floundered for six years at the Class A levels, posting a combined average in the .240s with little power. He hit well at the High A level in 2008 and 2009, with a combined .293/.412/.521 line, then in 2010 he truly broke out from a power perspective, hitting .318/.412/.580 in half of a AA season, then .364/.435/.600 in a 15-game cameo in AAA. As he commands each level, Chirinos shows good BB/SO ratios, including a combined 86/87 for the past two years.â†µ
His age obviously calls his offensive ceiling into question, but reports of scout comments from folks like Kevin Goldstein during the season and some of the grey-area factors (how his body and swing seem to have matured) give off a good vibe here. I would be intrigued by grabbing Chirinos from an organization that doesn't really need him right now.