The venerable Peter Gammons with a piece on MLB.com:
The Rangers were the other team in it to the end. They thought they could get Chirinos from the Cubs, then package him with left-handed pitcher Derek Holland, reliever Frank Francisco and outfielder Engel Beltre, plus pay some of Francisco’s contract.
Robinson Chirinos may be 26, but he’s a converted infielder whom the Rays compare to Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz; his numbers between Double-A and Triple-A were very good — .326 average, .999 OPS, 18 homers, 46 extra-base hits, 44 walks, 43 strikeouts.
If you’re going to talk to someone in the baseball media, then make it Gammons. With that in mind, I’m prone to believe this information is coming from the Rays and not rival talent evaluators or whatever reporting cliché is out there.
The more I read about this trade, the more it appears that everybody has a different opinion on just who the key is. Some suggest Hak-Ju Lee, others say Chris Archer, but the Rays seem to be as high on Chirinos as anyone. Kevin Goldstein tweeted yesterday about how he felt that 12th might be too low, since teams had the 26-year-old higher on their internal lists.
As for the Ruiz comparison, that would be fantastic. He’s hit .261/.360/.394 over the past three seasons while also nailing around 30% of base stealers. That’s essentially a combination of John Jaso’s 2010 season (.263/.372/.378) and Dioner Navarro’s career caught stealing rate. Chirinos probably won’t reach quite that status, but if he does, that’s a pretty nice get.
Also make sure to check out Keith Law’s reaction (sub required), as he appears higher on Lee than most (even going so far as to say that he had Lee as the Cubs’ best prospect). As well as Jonathan Mayo’s report, which echos the sentiment about Guyer that he’s an intense, but high makeup fellow:
A former football standout in high school, Guyer brings that game’s mentality to baseball with an all-out aggressive style on both sides of the ball. He’s got very good speed and his power continues to develop. He can play anywhere in the outfield and could very well start the year with Triple-A Durham.
Why do I get the feeling that if this were the draft, Guyer would be tabbed as “a typical Rays pick”.