The Chicago Cubs have signed veteran catcher Robinson Chirinos to a one-year major league contract. To make room for Chirinos, the Cubs designated catcher Taylor Gushue for assignment Monday afternoon.
Chirinos, 37, will be Willson Contreras’ sixth different backup catcher this season. Austin Romine (wrist), P.J. Higgins (forearm), and Jose Lobaton (shoulder) are all on the 60-day IL. Tony Wolters played 14 games before the Cubs designated him for assignment and ultimately sent him to Triple-A.
The Cubs recalled Gushue from Triple-A Iowa after Lobaton sustained a shoulder injury last Tuesday. Gushue went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in two games.
Chirinos has a career .231/.325/.431 slash line (.755 OPS) and 86 home runs in 602 MLB games since 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and New York Mets. The Cubs originally signed him as a non-drafted free agent from Venezuela. However, he was sent to Tampa Bay in the Matt Garza trade in January 2011.
Chirinos signed a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees earlier this year, and sustained a fractured right wrist in spring training after being hit by a pitch. After his recovery, Chirinos hit .278/.422/.556 in 13 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before being was released Sunday.
The Cubs (42-42, third in NL Central) start a seven-game homestand Monday at Wrigley Field, with a four-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies (39-42, fourth in NL East).