Trade comes a day after Gimenez dealt to Indians; Telis recalled from Minors
Special to MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Another day, another Rangers catcher traded.
This time, it was Geovany Soto getting dealt to the division-rival A's on Sunday for cash considerations -- less than 24 hours after the Rangers traded fellow catcher Chris Gimenez to the Indians. The Rangers have purchased the contract of Triple-A Round Rock catcher Tomas Telis, who will replace Soto on the roster effective Monday. Telis will team with starter Robinson Chirinos to handle the catching duties.
"We wanted to take a look at both of those guys. Plus it gives [Soto] an opportunity to go out and win," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "[Telis] is a guy we had to make a decision on this winter. He's really taken a step forward with his game."
Chirinos, who went 2-for-3 with a walk in Sunday's 3-1 win over the Royals, is batting .232 and slugging .409 this year. His 11 home runs are the third-most on the team and his 33 RBIs are the fourth-most on the squad despite playing in only 79 games this season.
"I knew at some point I was going to be an everyday guy in the big leagues," Chirinos said. "I've always believed I could be an everyday catcher in the Major Leagues, even when I was in the Minor Leagues."
Soto started the season on the 60-day disabled list with a torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury he suffered in Spring Training. He has spent most of the season on the DL, not making his season debut until July 18 -- only to be placed back on the DL four days later with a strained right groin.
After a second stint, this one only lasting a little longer than two weeks, Soto returned to the Rangers on Aug. 8 following a five-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock. Soto has hit .237 with one home run and three RBIs, striking out 11 times without a walk.
Soto spent the first 11 years of his career with the Cubs before they traded him to the Rangers the day before the 2012 Trade Deadline. In 111 games with the Rangers since then, Soto has batted .223 with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs.
Chirinos said that he was shocked upon learning that Soto had been traded, along with Soto himself.
"He was a great teammate, great clubhouse guy and I didn't think at this point he was going to be traded," Chirinos said. "You never know with this game. You can be here today and not know where you're going to be tomorrow."
Soto joins an A's team that boasts the highest batting average (.286), on-base percentage (.363) and slugging percentage (.457) by their catchers this season in the American League. Derek Norris is hitting .284 in 98 games with the A's, John Jaso is batting .264 in 99 games and Stephen Vogt has posted a .324 batting average in 63 contests.
But Jaso has been experiencing concussion-like symptoms that could put him on the disabled list and Vogt has a bruised right foot that will keep him from catching unless an emergency situation presents itself.
As for the Rangers, Chirinos is now the only catcher with Major League experience.
"He's a really good influence on all the guys and has a tremendous work ethic," Daniels said. "Defensively, he's really come into his own and I think offensively, he's shown some signs. He still has some growth. He's shown he can be one of two guys on a staff. Can he be more than a backup? That's something we'll continue to look at."
Telis, in his seventh year in the Rangers' farm system, is hitting .345 with three home runs and 17 RBIs for Round Rock since being promoted on July 17. Telis was a Texas League All-Star twice while playing for Double-A Frisco and batted .303 with two home runs and 33 RBIs in 70 games before going to Round Rock.