The one-year contract between Houston and Chirinos was for $5.75 million, which was a little over double what the Rangers paid him the previous season. Looking at his numbers for 2019, I’m not too sure his salary would go up much, if at all. He was pretty much middle of the pack with a 2.3 WAR and an OPS of .790.
When comparing his fielding among other catchers in the league, Chirinos falls even further down the list. His Rdrs (defensive runs saved above average) rating of 3 and his 21% caught stealing ratio are both lower than the majority.
But as stated before, Chirinos has some intangible qualities that can’t be listed on any statistical chart. A lot will depend on the market and demand for catchers this offseason. Of the 20 catchers that are listed as free agents, Chirinos is only second behind Yasmani Grandal, who is sporting a 5.2 WAR compared to the 2.3 of Chirinos.
As far as bringing back Maldonado, I feel this is not as likely, unless he’s willing to take a pay cut. With recent and past contract extensions and several players probably getting raises in their arbitration cases, the Astros are already looking at breaking the Tax Threshold barrier. They’re going to have to cut payroll somewhere and the backup catcher position is a good place to start.