A deal is expected to be finalized sometime this week that will see Jose Molina sign on with the Tampa Bay Rays for an undisclosed amount. The deal will also carry an option for 2013.
I’m a tad surprised the Jays didn’t show any interest in retaining Molina, given that he actually had an outstanding season for a back up catcher, hitting .281 with three homers and 15 RBI in 55 games. More importantly he provided a nice veteran presence for the pitching staff and J.P. Arencibia. I should point out, while it’s certainly not all the catchers’ fault, the Jays were 24th with a team ERA of 4.32. So it’s not like they are losing an excellent game caller.
The Rays can also offer Molina a lot more player time, so chances are he’d have gone south anyway. I have a feeling that more playing time will actually hurt Molina, but I suppose it’s possible his numbers could go up. Personally, I wouldn’t count on it.
His departure will also open up some spots for the Jays’ up and comers and they are currently loaded with catching prospects. Along with J.P. they have Travis d’Arnaud plus a few others who are a few years away. Still, I think they will be better served with a cheap but reliable veteran on hand.
Word is Pudge is looking to play one more season….