Rays Re-Sign Jose Molina
Jose Molina is back with the Rays after agreeing to a two-year deal worth $4.5 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
While the deal had been expected for a few days now, the not-so-surprising news is Molina will make more money this go around than he did the first time through. That’s due in part to the market inflation, and perhaps because teams new recognize his defensive value more than they did in late 2011. Still, Molina’s $2.25 million average annual value ranks below three of the four free-agent catcher contracts handed out this winter, including those signed by Brian McCann ($17 million), Carlos Ruiz (a shade less than $9 million), Geovany Soto ($3 million).
Molina doesn’t offer much value at the plate, but he’s an obvious asset defensively. In addition to elite receiving skills, Molina earns high marks for his staff-handling abilities. He posted an above-average caught stealing rate despite dealing with a staff that didn’t excel at holding runners—including the largely apathetic Fernando Rodney—and his issues with passed balls are overstated. Molina will be 40 years old when the contract expires.